Hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid) and hyaluronectin in the extracellular matrix of human breast carcinomas: comparison between invasive and non-invasive areas

Int J Cancer. 1992 Aug 19;52(1):1-6. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910520102.


We performed quantitative determination of the distribution of hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid, HA) and the HA-binding protein, hyaluronectin (HN), 2 components of the extracellular matrix of tumor desmoplasia, within 71 human breast carcinomas. Results showed that HA and HN were more elevated in tumoral than in non-tumoral adjacent tissue, and that the peripheral invasive area of tumors contained increased levels of HA and HN as compared with the central non-invasive area (p less than 10(-3) and p less than 10(-5) respectively). HN and HA levels of 61 ductal carcinomas were related to the histological grade of tumors; no significant difference was found between grades for HA; HN was found to be significantly lower in grade III than in grade II tumors (p less than 0.01). HA and HN rates were correlated in grade I and grade II tumors and were not correlated in grade III. Mean percentage of HA saturation level by HN for whole tumors was found to be less than 4%, indicating that HA is essentially free of proteins and could be used as a target for cancer diagnosis or therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma / chemistry*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis*
  • Extracellular Matrix / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Hyaluronic Acid / analysis*
  • Neoplasm Staging


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Hyaluronic Acid