The increased accumulation of structurally modified versican and decorin is related with the progression of laryngeal cancer
Versican and decorin, two proteoglycans (PGs) with contradictory roles in the pathophysiology of cancer, comprise important stromal components in many tumor types and play a crucial role in the progression of cancer. In this study, we provide direct evidence for a significant and stage-related accumulation of versican and decorin in the tumor-associated stroma of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) in comparison to normal larynx. Both PGs were found to be co-localized within the peritumorous stroma. In addition, the accumulated versican and decorin were markedly modified on both protein core and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) levels. Decorin, which was present under both glycanated and non-glycanated forms, perceptibly increased with the progression of LSCC, compared to the normal larynx. Tumor-associated glycanated decorin was found to contain significant amounts of dermatan sulfate (DS) sequences. Versican was also found to undergo stage-related structural modifications since a marked heterogeneity of protein cores was observed, being intense in late stage of laryngeal cancer. The increased accumulation of both versican and decorin was associated with a significant stage-related increase of the molar ratio of Delta di-mono4S to Delta di-mono6S up to approximately threefold in LSCC compared to the normal ones. The modified chemical structure of both PGs could be associated with the degree of aggressiveness of laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas.
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