Involvement of stromal proteoglycans in tumour progression

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2004 Mar;49(3):259-68. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2003.10.005.


Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and proteoglycans (PGs) belong to a class of extracellular macromolecules necessary for the growth of any multicellular structures, including tumours. Transformed cells induce stromal reaction either per se or by activation of the mesenchymal cells. Tumour stroma contains several chondroitin sulphate and heparan sulphate proteoglycans. These proteoglycans and their glycosaminoglycan chains modify cell behaviour by interacting with different molecules such as growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, proteinases and their inhibitors. This review describes the main proteoglycans of tumour stoma and discusses their implication in the regulation of the activity of extracellular proteins and peptides.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Glycosaminoglycans / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism*
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism


  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Proteoglycans