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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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An enzyme that is responsible to degrade polymeric heparan sulfate chain in the cell surfaces and extracellular matrix.


Heparanase is an endo beta-D-glucuronidase that has the capacity of cleaving heparan sulfate at specific intra-chain sites that embraced thecatabolism of glycosaminoglycans and covered the way for the development of novel therapeutics of cancers, autoimmune diseases and tissue regeneration. Mostly stored in blood cells including platelets, neutrophils and secreted by activated lymphocytes.

Heparanase offer a vital physiological role in cancers that induced angiogenesis necessary for tumor development. It also assists in metastasis and giving out secondary tumors allowing tumor cells to intravasates and extravasates via absorbing polysaccharide components of the basement membrane of blood vessels. Infiltration of the endothelial cell layer that lines the interior surface of blood vessels is a significant process in the development of blood tumor metastasis wherein heparan sulfate proteoglycans is the main constituent that shows increased metastatic potential with increased heparanase activity.

Heparanase has the capacity to invade tumors by digesting extracellular matrix of the surrounding tissue and acts as adhesion molecules in cell migration during the course of metastatic progression aside from its enzymatic activity. Indeed, heparanase is extremely expressed in most solid tumors and dormant in normal tissues besides the useful repertoire of heparanase is lengthened by its directive to syndecan clustering, shedding, and mitogen binding.

Gene name: HPSE

Protein name: Heparanase




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