Chemical toolbox to interrogate Heparanase-1 activity

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2024 Mar 30:80:102452. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2024.102452. Online ahead of print.


The development of a robust chemical toolbox to interrogate the activity of heparanase-1 (HPSE-1), an endo-β-d-glucuronidase and the only known enzyme that cleaves heparan sulfate (HS), has become critically important. The primary function of HPSE-1, cleaving HS side chains from heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), regulates the integrity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the bioavailability of active, heparan sulfate-binding partners such as enzymes, growth factors, chemokines, and cytokines. HPSE-1 enzymatic activity is strictly regulated and has been found to play fundamental roles in pathophysiological processes. HPSE-1 is significantly overexpressed under various conditions including cancer, metastasis, angiogenesis, and inflammation, making HPSE-1 a promising therapeutic and diagnostic target. Chemical tools that can detect and image HPSE-1 activity in vitro and/or in vivo can help drive the discovery of novel and efficacious anti-HPSE-1 drugs, investigate the basic biology of HPSE-1, and help serve as a diagnostic tool in clinical applications. Here, we will give an overview of the common chemical tools to detect HPSE-1 activity and highlight the novel heparanase probes recently developed in our lab.

Publication types

  • Review