Association of hyaluronidase and breast adenocarcinoma invasiveness

Oncol Rep. May-Jun 1999;6(3):607-9. doi: 10.3892/or.6.3.607.


Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a component of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that exists as a high molecular weight polymer composed of alternating disaccharides, D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl D-glucosamine. The interaction of hyaluronidase with HA results in the disruption of basement membrane integrity and produces an angiogenic response that has been implicated in tumor invasiveness and metastasis. Although hyaluronidase is present in several neoplasms, levels of hyaluronidase expression in breast cancer are not known. This investigation defines the correlation of elevated levels of hyaluronidase with breast adenocarcinoma invasiveness. Utilizing RT-PCR, RNA was extracted from paraffin embedded tissues (n=6) of patients diagnosed with fibrocystic breast changes, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and invasive adenocarcinoma. After constructing cDNA primers for base pairs 504 and 759 of the PH-20 gene (which is homologous to the hyaluronidase gene), PCR was performed and the products were visualized with ethidium bromide using gel electrophoresis. Invasive breast adenocarcinoma had a significantly higher level of hyaluronidase expression compared to other breast tissue samples; (32+/-15 vs. 8+/-3; p<0.03). Elevated levels of hyaluronidase correlated with invasive breast adenocarcinoma. Our data suggests that elevated levels of hyaluronidase are associated with breast adenocarcinoma invasive potential. Hyaluronidase may play an integral role in breast cancer invasion and metastasis.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / enzymology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / enzymology
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase