Podoplanin in Inflammation and Cancer.
Abstract: Podoplanin is a small cell-surface mucin-like glycoprotein that plays a crucial role in the development of the alveoli, heart, and lymphatic vascular system. Emerging evidence indicates that it is also involved in the control of mammary stem-cell activity and biogenesis of platelets in the bone marrow, and exerts an important function in the immune response. Podoplanin expression is upregulated in different cell types, including fibroblasts, macrophages, T helper cells, and epithelial cells, during inflammation and cancer, where it plays important roles. Podoplanin is implicated in chronic inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, promotes inflammation-driven and cancer-associated thrombosis, and stimulates cancer cell invasion and metastasis through a variety of strategies. To accomplish its biological functions, podoplanin must interact with other proteins located in the same cell or in neighbor cells. The binding of podoplanin to its ligands leads to modulation of signaling pathways that regulate proliferation, contractility, migration, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and remodeling of the extracellular matrix. In this review, we describe the diverse roles of podoplanin in inflammation and cancer, depict the protein ligands of podoplanin identified so far, and discuss the mechanistic basis for the involvement of podoplanin in all these processes.
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