Versican gene is mapped on chromosome 5q14.2-q14.3 with a molecular mass of 1000kDa that contains 15 exons spanning at about 90-100kb. Its expression is regulated by a promoter that harbors typical TATA box as well as potential binding sites for numerous transcription factors. Its core protein is divided into three domains such as globular N-terminal (G1) which improves cell proliferation and reduces cell adhesion, central domain (G2) where glycosaminoglycans chain attached responsible for the antiadhesive properties and the globular C-terminal domain (G3) involved in cell proliferation and invasion.
Versican is a huge extracellular matrix proteoglycans that shows importance as a structural molecule, hydrated matrices and making loose during key events in development and disease through interacting either directly or indirectly linked with molecules to regulate cell adhesion, cell proliferation, cell survival, cell migration and extracellular matrix assembly. It comes from the word versatile in view to the diversity of biological actions that reveals a highly interactive molecule that can be attributed to both amino and carboxy terminal domains. It also has the ability to bind with hyaluronan since it is belong to hyalectan family.
Versican is associated in various cancer types such as melanomas, brain tumors, osteosarcoma, prostate, colon, pancreatic and ovarian cancers where it is expressed the tumor stromal cells as fibroblasts. In cancer cells it is involved in the control of the epithelial mesenchyma transition in which expression of particular domains enhances angiogenesis and metastasis in several tumors as well as implicated in the metastasis function in the immune response. It also acts as macrophages during the Toll-receptor 2 inducing TNF-alpha secretion by provoking metastatic growth.
Gene name: VCAN
Protein name: Versican core protein