Nuclear Heparanase Regulates Chromatin Remodeling, Gene Expression and PTEN Tumor Suppressor Function

Academic Article


  • Heparanase (HPSE) is an endoglycosidase that cleaves heparan sulfate and has been shown in various cancers to promote metastasis, angiogenesis, osteolysis, and chemoresistance. Although heparanase is thought to act predominantly extracellularly or within the cytoplasm, it is also present in the nucleus, where it may function in regulating gene transcription. Using myeloma cell lines, we report here that heparanase enhances chromatin accessibility and confirm a previous report that it also upregulates the acetylation of histones. Employing the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation CoMMpass database, we demonstrate that patients expressing high levels of heparanase display elevated expression of proteins involved in chromatin remodeling and several oncogenic factors compared to patients expressing low levels of heparanase. These signatures were consistent with the known function of heparanase in driving tumor progression. Chromatin opening and downstream target genes were abrogated by inhibition of heparanase. Enhanced levels of heparanase in myeloma cells led to a dramatic increase in phosphorylation of PTEN, an event known to stabilize PTEN, leading to its inactivity and loss of tumor suppressor function. Collectively, this study demonstrates that heparanase promotes chromatin opening and transcriptional activity, some of which likely is through its impact on diminishing PTEN tumor suppressor activity.
  • Published In

  • Cells  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Amin R; Tripathi K; Sanderson RD
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 9