Importance of the field: Sulf-1 and Sulf-2 are sulfatases that edit the sulfation status of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) on the outside of cells and regulate a number of critical signaling pathways. The Sulfs are dysregulated in many cancers with Sulf-2 in particular implicated as a driver of carcinogenesis in NSCLC, pancreatic cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. Areas covered in this review: This review describes the novel activity of the Sulfs in altering the sulfation pattern of HSPG chains on the outside of cells. Thereby, the Sulfs can change the binding of growth factors to these chains and can either promote (e.g., Wnt) or inhibit (e.g., fibroblast growth factor-2) signaling. The review focuses on the widespread upregulation of both Sulfs in cancers and summarizes the evidence that Sulf-2 promotes the transformed behavior of several types of cancer cells in vitro as well as their tumorigenicity in vivo. What the reader will gain: Sulf-2 is a bonafide candidate as a cancer-causing agent in NSCLC and other cancers in which it is upregulated. Take home message: Sulf-2 is an extracellular enzyme and as such would be an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of NSCLC and other cancers.
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"The negative effects of SULFs on FGF-2 signaling are consistent with the requirement for 6S on HSPGs in the FGF-2 signaling complex . However, consistent with a potential oncogenic role, one or both SULF genes were soon found to be overexpressed in subsets of multiple tumors (breast, pancreatic, hepatocellular carcinoma, malignant astrocytoma, head and neck, lung, and multiple myeloma)  . In particular, SULF2 has been directly implicated as a candidate cancercausing gene in human breast cancer and mouse brain cancer [34,35]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Lung cancer is one of the most deadly cancers; median survival from diagnosis is less than one year in those with advanced disease. Novel lung cancer biomarkers are desperately needed. In this study, we evaluated SULF2 expression by immunohistochemistry and its association with overall survival in a cohort of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We also looked for the presence of SULF2 protein in plasma to evaluate its potential as an early detection biomarker for NSCLC.
"Heparan sulfate can also be modified by editing enzymes, such as 6-O-endo-sulfatases and heparanase (Ai et al., 2003; Ilan et al., 2006; Xu et al., 2007). The extracellular 6-O-endo-sulfatases, Sulf1 and Sulf2, selectively remove sulfate groups from the carbon 6 positions (Lamanna et al., 2008; Rosen and Lemjabbar-Alaoui, 2010; Nagamine et al., 2012), while heparanase cleaves HS chains from the protein core, generating free HS (Bernfield et al., 1999; Galvis et al., 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate (HS) is a complex and highly variable polysaccharide, expressed ubiquitously on the cell surface as HS proteoglycans (HSPGs), and found in the extracellular matrix as free HS fragments. Its heterogeneity due to various acetylation and sulfation patterns endows a multitude of functions. In animal tissues, HS interacts with a wide range of proteins to mediate numerous biological activities; given its multiple roles in inflammation processes, characterization of HS in human serum has significant potential for elucidating disease mechanisms. Historically, investigation of HS was limited by its low concentration in human serum, together with the complexity of the serum matrix. In this study, we used a modified mass spectrometry method to examine HS disaccharide profiles in the serum of 50 women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and compared our results to 51 sera from healthy women. Using various purification methods and online LC-MS/MS, we discovered statistically significant differences in the sulfation and acetylation patterns between populations. Since early diagnosis of RA is considered important in decelerating the disease’s progression, identification of specific biomolecule characterizations may provide crucial information towards developing new therapies for suppressing the disease in its early stages. This is the first report of potential glycosaminoglycan biomarkers for RA found in human sera, while acknowledging the obvious fact that a larger population set, and more stringent collection parameters, will need to be investigated in the future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Sulfs are extracellular endosulfatases that selectively remove the 6-O-sulfate groups from cell surface heparan sulfate (HS) chain. By altering the sulfation at these particular sites, Sulfs function to remodel HS chains. As a result of the remodeling activity, HSulf2 regulates a multitude of cell-signaling events that depend on interactions between proteins and HS. Previous efforts to characterize the substrate specificity of human Sulfs (HSulfs) focused on the analysis of HS disaccharides and synthetic repeating units. In this study, we characterized the substrate preferences of human HSulf2 using HS oligosaccharides with various lengths and sulfation degrees from several naturally occurring HS sources by applying liquid chromatography mass spectrometry based glycomics methods. The results showed that HSulf2 preferentially digests highly sulfated HS oligosaccharides with zero acetyl groups and this preference is length dependent. In terms of length of oligosaccharides, HSulf2 digestion induced more sulfation decrease on DP6 (DP: degree of polymerization) compared to DP2, DP4 and DP8. In addition, the HSulf2 preferentially digests the oligosaccharide domain located at the non-reducing end (NRE) of the HS and heparin chain. In addition, the HSulf2 digestion products were altered only for specific isomers. HSulf2 treated NRE oligosaccharides also showed greater decrease in cell proliferation than those from internal domains of the HS chain. After further chromatographic separation, we identified the three most preferred unsaturated hexasaccharide for HSulf2.