The Development of a Novel Therapeutic Strategy to Target Hyaluronan in the Extracellular Matrix of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal diseases to affect humans, regardless of whether patients receive multimodal therapy (including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy). This resistance to intervention is currently considered to be caused by the desmoplastic change of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in PDAC tissues, which is characterized by the accumulation of cancer-associated fibroblasts, collagen, proteoglycan, and hyaluronan. Among these ECM components, hyaluronan has attracted interest because various studies have indicated that hyaluronan-rich PDAC is correlated with the progressive properties of cancer cells, both in experimental and clinical settings. Hence, the reduction of hyaluronan in cancer tissue may represent a novel therapeutic approach for PDAC. 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU) is a derivative of coumarin that was reported to suppress the synthesis of hyaluronan in cultured human skin fibroblasts in 1995. As an additional study, our group firstly reported that 4-MU reduced the hyaluronan synthesis of mouse melanoma cells and exerted anti-cancer activity. Subsequently, we have showed that 4-MU inhibited liver metastasis in mice inoculated with human pancreatic cancer cells. Thereafter, 4-MU has been accepted as an effective agent for hyaluronan research and is expected to have clinical applications. This review provides an overview of the interaction between PDAC and hyaluronan, the properties of 4-MU as a suppressor of the synthesis of hyaluronan, and the perspectives of PDAC treatment targeting hyaluronan.
- INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES 18(3), 600, 2017-05