Heparanase, a potential marker for premalignant oral cavity cancer

Yoav Leiser, Dekel Shilo, Imad Abu El Naaj, Adi Rachmiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background/Aim: In the past we have shown that the heparanase gene expression significantly correlates to oral cancer patient survival. Our aim was to study heparanase expression in all stages of carcinogenesis. Materials and Methods: Heparanase expression (mRNA and protein), as well as its enzymatic activity were studied separately in the nucleus and cytoplasm of both normal and cancerous cells using an in vivo oral cancer mouse model. Results: Heparanase nuclear expression was associated with normal tissue; at the time carcinogenesis is initiated heparanase translocates to the cytoplasm and increases protein expression and enzymatic activity, as the cancer progresses. Heparanase overall expression is increased in cancer formation from premalignant to invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Conclusion: Heparanase is suggested to be a prognostic and diagnostic marker for oral premalignant lesions which could have a major impact on future prognosis and diagnosis of SCC of the oral cavity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-778
Number of pages10
JournalIn Vivo
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 4NQO
  • Cancer model
  • Enzymatic activity
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Heparanase
  • In vivo
  • Localization
  • Nuclear
  • Staining


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