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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 79-84

Understanding the basic role of glycocalyx during cancer


Department of Biophysics, University of Mumbai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Yogendrakumar Harivansh Lahir
Department of Biophysics, University of Mumbai, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-0168.197974

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Metastasis or cancer is a functional, molecular and structural disorder which has been an unsolved and fatal mystery and leads to death in most of the individuals suffering from it in spite of the advances made in biomedical and oncological fields. Structurally a tissue consists of cells enclosed by glycocalyx (partially or completely), extracellular matrix incorporating lymphatic and mircovessels. There is a specific amount of glycocalyx sandwiched between extracellular cell matrix and cell membrane depending on the type of the tissue and cell and their location in the biosystems. The common constituents of glycocalyx include biomolecules such as glycolipids, glycoproteins, and oligosaccharides; the glycoproteins are trans-membrane proteins. Any impact due to the interaction between inter- and/or intra-cellular biomolecules or any expected xenobiotics affect extracellular matrix, glycocalyx, cell membrane, cell organelles; these are the prime targets for the investigation related to metastasis. Somehow or the other the glycocalyx has attracted relative less attention of the researchers. The various aspects of the prometastatic interactions involve ligand-receptors, integrins, and other cellular receptors; glycocalyx has its role in such interactions. There are changes in the physicochemical parameters of glycocalyx which affect the cell membrane adversely. These result in malfunctioning of cell signaling, cell proliferation, cell migration, etc. There have been relatively less reports on the structural and functional changes in glycocalyx specifically related to circulating tumor cells and the cancerous cells of organs such as ovary, breast tissue, lungs, and hepatic tissues. In this presentation, an effort is made to review and evaluate the changes in glycocalyx during such interactions between the glycocalyx and the prometastatic molecules.


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