Syndecans, a cell surface heparin sulfate proteoglycan family, are generally expressed on the surface of all adherent cells and many nonadherent cells. Based on its function as an anchor that stabilizes epithelial sheet morphology by connecting the extra cellular matrix (ECM) to intracellular cytoskeleton, this family of proteoglycans was termed as “syndecan,” derived from Greek word “syndein” meaning to bind together. They consist of four members: syndecan-1, syndecan-2 (fibroglycan), syndecan-3(N-syndecan), and syndecan-4 (amphiglycan/ryudocan) each encoded by a distinct gene (Teng et al. 2011). In 1989, Merton Bernfield’s group cloned the first member, syndecan-1, followed by identification of other members in the following years. It soon became apparent that they could support cell adhesion, and now it is known that...
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