Matricellular proteins are secreted, nonstructural proteins, involved in the mediation of molecular interactions between cells and extracellular microenvironment. They include several, structurally unrelated, members and their homologs. Among these a particularly interesting one is SPARCL1 due to its potential interactions in tumor biology. SPARCL1 is a secreted glycoprotein, belonging to SPARC family of matricellular proteins. It is implicated in the regulation of cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. SPARCL1 is expressed in physiological context, both during embryogenesis and in adult life during tissue remodeling. Its diverse expression pattern in different forms of human cancers has suggested it may play different roles in tumor biology, as both oncogene and tumor suppressor, based on tumor type. Aim of this review is to critically revise current knowledges about the role, played by SPARCL1, in physiological and pathological contexts and highlight its role as a key-gene in the regulation of tumor biology.
Keywords: Cancer; Hevin; Matricellular proteins; SPARCL1.
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