Heparin affin regulatory peptide: a new target for tumour therapy?

Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2004 Sep;4(6):471-82. doi: 10.2174/1568009043332835.


Heparin affin regulatory peptide (HARP), also known as pleiotrophin or heparin-binding growth-associated molecule, is an 18-kDa growth factor that has a high affinity for heparin. It constitutes with midkine and retinoic acid heparin-binding protein, a family of structurally related heparin-binding growth factors. A growing body of evidence indicates that HARP is involved in the control of cellular proliferation, migration and differentiation and plays a significant role in tumor growth and angiogenesis. HARP has a well described role in physiological as well as tumor angiogenesis, and is detected in various carcinomas, such as human breast and prostate cancer, neuroblastomas, gliomas, benign meningiomas, small cell lung cancer and mammary tumors, exhibiting a proto-oncogene function. It is also constitutively expressed in tumour cell lines and is involved in tumour growth and metastasis. Therefore, HARP appears to be a potential new target for the treatment or/and diagnosis of several types of cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Carrier Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cytokines
  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • pleiotrophin