Role of osteopontin in the pathophysiology of cancer

Matrix Biol. 2014 Jul;37:131-41. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2014.03.001. Epub 2014 Mar 19.


Osteopontin (OPN) is a multifunctional cytokine that impacts cell proliferation, survival, drug resistance, invasion, and stem like behavior. Due to its critical involvement in regulating cellular functions, its aberrant expression and/or splicing is functionally responsible for undesirable alterations in disease pathologies, specifically cancer. It is implicated in promoting invasive and metastatic progression of many carcinomas. Due to its autocrine and paracrine activities OPN has been shown to be a crucial mediator of cellular cross talk and an influential factor in the tumor microenvironment. OPN has been implicated as a prognostic and diagnostic marker for several cancer types. It has also been explored as a possible target for treatment. In this article we hope to provide a broad perspective on the importance of OPN in the pathophysiology of cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; Isoforms; Matricellular; Osteopontin; Signaling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Osteopontin / chemistry
  • Osteopontin / metabolism*
  • Osteopontin / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Osteopontin