Serglycin is an intracellular proteoglycan with a unique ability to adopt highly divergent structures by glycosylation with variable types of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) when expressed by different cell types. Serglycin is overexpressed in aggressive cancers suggesting its protumorigenic role. In this study, we explored the expression of serglycin in human glioma and its correlation with survival and immune cell infiltration. We demonstrate that serglycin is expressed in glioma and that increased expression predicts poor survival of patients. Analysis of serglycin expression in a large cohort of low- and high-grade human glioma samples reveals that its expression is grade dependent and is positively correlated with mast cell (MC) infiltration. Moreover, serglycin expression in patient-derived glioma cells is significantly increased upon MC co-culture. This is also accompanied by increased expression of CXCL12, CXCL10, as well as markers of cancer progression, including CD44, ZEB1 and vimentin.In conclusion, these findings indicate the importance of infiltrating MCs in glioma by modulating signaling cascades involving serglycin, CD44 and ZEB1. The present investigation reveals serglycin as a potential prognostic marker for glioma and demonstrates an association with the extent of MC recruitment and glioma progression, uncovering potential future therapeutic opportunities for patients.
Keywords: CD44; ZEB1; glioma; mast cell; serglycin.