Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 65, Issue 11, pp 1706–1715

Heparanase involvement in physiology and disease


DOI: 10.1007/s00018-008-7584-6

Cite this article as:
Nasser, N.J. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2008) 65: 1706. doi:10.1007/s00018-008-7584-6


Heparanase is an endoglycosidase that degrades heparan sulfate on the cell surface and extracellular matrix. The physiological functions of heparanase include heparan sulfate turnover, embryo development, hair growth, and wound healing. Heparanase is implicated in a variety of pathologies, such as tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, inflammation, and glomerular diseases. Heparanase overexpression in a variety of malignant tumors suggests that it could be a target for anti-cancer therapy.


Cancer progressionextracellular matrixheparinheparanaseangiogenesisalternative splicingmetastasishypoxia

Copyright information

© Birkhaueser 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OncologyShaare Zedek Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael