Heparanase: A target for therapy of brain invasive tumors?

Dario Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mechanisms responsible for the progression of malignant melanoma to highly aggressive brain-metastatic disease remain largely unknown. Brain neurotrophins can modulate the brain invasion of melanoma cells and the activity of an enzyme called heparanase. Heparanase is an endo-β-glucuronidase that degrades the heparan sulfate chains of heparan sulfate proteoglycans, essential and ubiquitous macromolecules associated with the cell surface and the extracellular matrix of a wide range of cells and tissues. Human heparanase has been recently cloned as a single gene family and found to be a potential target for anticancer drugs because of its critical roles in anglogenic and invasive processes. The potential relevance of heparanase, as a cellular switch from noninvasive to the invasive phenotype and novel therapeutic target for invasive brain tumors, is introduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-463
Number of pages5
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Astrocytes
  • Brain invasion and angiogenesis
  • Brain metastasis
  • Extracellular matrix degradation
  • Heparanase
  • Neurotrophins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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