Hyalurondiase: both a tumor promoter and suppressor

Semin Cancer Biol. 2008 Aug;18(4):281-7. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2008.03.008. Epub 2008 Mar 26.


Originally termed as the "spreading factor", hyaluronidases (HAases) are present in a variety of toxins and venoms. For example, HAase is the virulent factor of beta-hemolytic Streptococci and it is also present in the venoms of snake, bee, wasp, scorpion, etc, where it aids in the spread of these venoms in the body. In mammals, testicular HAase present in the sperm acrosome is necessary for the fertilization of the ovum. Despite a lot of work on bacterial, invertebrate and testicular HAases, a connection between HAase and cancer was unequivocally established just over a decade ago and the functional significance of HAases in cancer was demonstrated just about a year ago. In this part of the review, we will focus on the recent advances in our understanding of the role of HAases in cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Oncogenes / physiology*


  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase