Overexpression of extracellular superoxide dismutase attenuates heparanase expression and inhibits breast carcinoma cell growth and invasion

Melissa L.T. Teoh, Matthew P. Fitzgerald, Larry W. Oberley, Frederick E. Domann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Increased expression of heparanase stimulates the progression of various human cancers, including breast cancer. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms involved in regulating heparanase is critical in developing effective treatments for heparanase-overexpressing cancers. In this study, we investigated the potential use of extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD) to enhance the inhibitory effects of heparin/low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) in breast cancer cells. EcSODbinds to cell surfaces and the extracellular matrix through heparin-binding domain (HBD). Deleting this HBD rendered the protein a more potent inhibitor of breast cancer growth, survival, and invasion. Among the treatment combinations examined, EcSODΔHBD plus LMWH provided the best tumor suppressive effects in inhibiting breast cancer growth and invasion in vitro. We have further shown that overexpression of EcSODd ecreased accumulation of vascular endothelial growth factor in the culture medium and increased the level of intact cell surface-associated heparan sulfate, thus implicating inhibition of heparanase expression as a potential mechanism. Overexpression of EcSODinhibite d steady-state heparanase mRNA levels by >50% as determined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Moreover, heparanase promoter activation was suppressed by EcSODas indicated by a luciferase reporter assay. These findings reveal a previously unrecognized molecular pathway showing that regulation of heparanase transcription can be mediated by oxidative stress. Our study implies that overexpression of EcSODis a promising strategy to enhance the efficacy of heparin/LMWH by inhibiting heparanase as a novel treatment for breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6355-6363
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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