Endocan is a soluble proteoglycan of 50 kDa carrying a single dermatan sulfate chain. This dermatan sulfate proteoglycan has been shown to be overexpressed in cancers and in diseases when endothelium gets challenged. Endocan/ESM-1 is upregulated in the presence of pro-angiogenic molecules, and VEGF-induced endocan secretion is abolished in the presence of antiangiogenic drug. Clearly, endocan/ESM-1 expression is biomarker of endothelial dysfunction and/or vascular remodeling in inflammatory diseases and in cancer.
Endocan, with synonym endothelial cell-specific molecule-1 (ESM-1), was originally cloned from a human endothelial cell cDNA library and described as being secreted by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Endocan transcripts were detected from a variety of cultured endothelial cells of different origins, i.e., in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC), human pulmonary...