ABSTRACT: Perlecan means pearl-like structures. Perlecan is a large proteoglycan (400-500 kDa) present in virtually all vascularized tissues with a distribution that is primarily confined to basement membranes including those of oral mucosa. It is a basement membrane-type heparan sulfate proteoglycan. Perlecan is synthesized by basal cells and fibroblasts adjacent to the basal lamina . Perlecan is also synthesized by vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells present in the extracellular matrix. It has been demonstrated in recent years that perlecan is distributed in the stromal space of various pathophysiological conditions. The complex pleiotropy of perlecan suggests that this gene product is involved in several developmental processes, at both early and late stages of embryogenesis, as well as in cancer and diabetes. In the oral cavity, perlecan expression is reported to basal cells in normal mucosa and its expression increases in precancer and cancerous conditions. It is also expressed in various odontogenic tumors such as ameloblastoma, keratocyst odontogenic tumor, and also salivary gland tumors such as adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, etc.
Indian journal of dental research: official publication of Indian Society for Dental Research 11/2011; 22(6):823-6.