Syndecan-1 expression is up-regulated in pancreatic but not in other gastrointestinal cancers

J. R. Conejo, J. Kleeff, A. Koliopanos, K. Matsuda, Z. W. Zhu, H. Goecke, N. Bicheng, A. Zimmermann, M. Korc, H. Friess, M. W. Büchler

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116 Scopus citations


Syndecan-1 belongs to the syndecan family of cell surface transmembrane heparan-sulfate proteoglycans, which participate in cell proliferation, cell migration and cell-matrix interactions. Decreased expression of syndecan-1 has been observed in some gastrointestinal malignancies, and it is thought that high levels of syndecan-1 correlate with the maintenance of epithelial morphology and inhibition of invasiveness. In our study, we characterized the expression of syndecan-1 in normal, chronic pancreatitis and primary and metastatic human pancreatic cancer tissues, in cultured pancreatic cancer cell lines and in esophageal, gastric, colon, and liver cancers. Pancreatic cancer cell lines expressed syndecan-1 mRNA and protein at variable levels. In addition, these cells also released syndecan-1 into the culture medium. Pancreatic cancer tissues markedly over-expressed syndecan-1 mRNA in comparison with both chronic pancreatitis (2.4-fold increase, p < 0.01) and normal pancreatic samples (10.6-fold increase, p < 0.01). There was no difference in syndecan-1 mRNA expression between early and advanced tumors. By in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, syndecan-1 expression was evident at relatively low levels in the ductal cells and less frequently in acinar cells of the normal pancreas. In chronic pancreatitis, syndecan-1 was present at low to moderate levels in areas with atrophic acinar cells and ductular complexes. In contrast, in pancreatic cancer tissues, syndecan-1 was present at moderate to high levels in the majority of the cancer cells within the tumor mass and also in metastatic lesions of pancreatic tumors. Syndecan-1 mRNA levels in other gastrointestinal malignancies (esophageal, gastric, colon and liver cancers) were not significantly different from the levels observed in the corresponding normal samples. Together, our findings suggest that syndecan-1 expression by pancreatic cancer cells may be of importance in the pathobiology of this disorder and that its role in pancreatic cancer seems to be different from that in other gastro-intestinal malignancies. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Conejo, J. R., Kleeff, J., Koliopanos, A., Matsuda, K., Zhu, Z. W., Goecke, H., Bicheng, N., Zimmermann, A., Korc, M., Friess, H., & Büchler, M. W. (2000). Syndecan-1 expression is up-regulated in pancreatic but not in other gastrointestinal cancers. International Journal of Cancer, 88(1), 12-20.<12::AID-IJC3>3.0.CO;2-T