Pre- and post-translational regulation of osteopontin in cancer

  • Pieter H. Anborgh
  • Jennifer C. Mutrie
  • Alan B. Tuck
  • Ann F. Chambers


Osteopontin (OPN) is a matricellular protein that binds to a number of cell surface receptors including integrins and CD44. It is expressed in many tissues and secreted into body fluids including blood, milk and urine. OPN plays important physiological roles in bone remodeling, immune response and inflammation. It is also a tumour-associated protein, and elevated OPN levels are associated with tumour formation, progression and metastasis. Research has revealed a promising role for OPN as a cancer biomarker. OPN is subject to alternative splicing, as well as post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation, glycosylation and proteolytic cleavage. Functional differences have been revealed for different isoforms and post-translational modifications. The pattern of isoform expression and post-translational modification is cell-type specific and may influence the potential role of OPN in malignancy and as a cancer biomarker.


Osteopontin Cancer Metastasis Matricellular protein Post-translational modification Alternative splicing 



Extracellular matrix


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Hepatocellular carcinoma


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma


Malignant mesothelioma


Matrix metalloproteinase


Messenger ribonucleic acid


Non-small cell lung cancer




Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma




Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction


Real time polymerase chain reaction


Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic acid


Small interfering ribonucleic acid


Short hairpin ribonucleic acid




Tissue transglutaminase


Urokinase plasminogen activator



This work is supported by an award from the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation. JCM is supported by a Canadian Graduate Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a Studentship from the Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit at the London Regional Cancer Program. AFC is a Canada Research Chair in Oncology, supported by the Canada Research Chairs Program.


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Copyright information

© The International CCN Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pieter H. Anborgh
    • 1
  • Jennifer C. Mutrie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alan B. Tuck
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ann F. Chambers
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.London Regional Cancer ProgramLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.London Health Sciences CentreLondonCanada
  4. 4.Department of OncologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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