Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 31, Issue 3–4, pp 529–551 | Cite as

Maspin: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications

  • Thomas M. Bodenstine
  • Richard E. B. Seftor
  • Zhila Khalkhali-Ellis
  • Elisabeth A. Seftor
  • Philip A. Pemberton
  • Mary J. C. Hendrix


Maspin, a non-inhibitory member of the serine protease inhibitor superfamily, has been characterized as a tumor suppressor gene in multiple cancer types. Among the established anti-tumor effects of Maspin are the inhibition of cancer cell invasion, attachment to extracellular matrices, increased sensitivity to apoptosis, and inhibition of angiogenesis. However, while significant experimental data support the role of Maspin as a tumor suppressor, clinical data regarding the prognostic implications of Maspin expression have led to conflicting results. This highlights the need for a better understanding of the context dependencies of Maspin in normal biology and how these are perturbed in the context of cancer. In this review, we outline the regulation and roles of Maspin in normal and developmental biology while discussing novel evidence and emerging theories related to its functions in cancer. We provide insight into the immense therapeutic potential of Maspin and the challenges related to its successful clinical translation.


Maspin Metastasis Serpin Tumor suppressor 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health to M. J. C. Hendrix (NIH CA75681) and a trainee award from the Northwestern University Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center’s National Cancer Institute funded training program in Oncogenesis and Developmental Biology to T. M. Bodenstine (T32 CA080621).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas M. Bodenstine
    • 1
  • Richard E. B. Seftor
    • 2
  • Zhila Khalkhali-Ellis
    • 1
  • Elisabeth A. Seftor
    • 3
  • Philip A. Pemberton
    • 4
  • Mary J. C. Hendrix
    • 1
  1. 1.Children’s Hospital of Chicago Research Center, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer CenterNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Children’s Hospital of Chicago Research Center, Cancer Biology and Epigenomics ProgramNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Children’s Hospital of Chicago Research Center, Cancer Biology and Epigenomics ProgramChicagoUSA
  4. 4.SerPlus Technology LLCBelmontUSA

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