Background: The small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) biglycan (BGN) and decorin
(DCN) linked with sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains exhibit oncogenic or tumor suppressive
potentials depending on the cellular context and association with GAGs.
Objective: We hypothesized that structural alterations and expression levels of BGN, DCN and their
associated chondroitin sulfate (CS) polymerizing enzymes, dermatan sulfate (DS) epimerases and
various sulfatases might be correlated with the tumor (sub)type and patients’ survival.
Methods: We acquired breast cancer (BC) and glioma patients’ datasets from cBioPortal and R2
Genomics. Structural alterations and the expression pattern of CS polymerizing enzymes, DS epimerases
and carbohydrate sulfotransferases (CHST) were compared to that of BGN and DCN and correlated
to their clinical relevance.
Results: In BC, no mutations, but amplifications (0.2 – 2.1 %) and deletions (0.05 – 0.4 %) were
found in BGN, DCN and CS/DS enzymes. In contrast, missense and/or truncated mutations (0.1 –
0.5 %), but a reduced amplification rate (0 – 1.5 %) were found in glioma. When compared to BC,
the structural abnormalities caused altered mRNA expression levels of BGN, DCN, GAG synthesizing
enzymes and CHST. Mutations in SLPRs, CHSY1, CHST4 and CHSY3 were correlated with a
poor prognosis in glioma, while lack of mutations and copy number variations in the SLRPs,
CHSY3, CHST15 and DSE displayed an increased survival in BC.
Conclusion: A distinct association of BGN and DCN with CHST, CS polymerizing enzymes and
DS epimerases was found in BC and glioma. Thus, a unique pattern of structural alterations and expression,
which has clinical relevance, was found for PGs and GAG synthesizing enzymes and
CHST in BC and glioma, which might help to identify high-risk patients and to develop personalized