Background: An endo-β-glucuronidase enzyme, Heparanase (HPSE), degrades the side chains of polymeric heparan sulfate (HS), a glycosaminoglycan formed by alternate repetitive units of D-glucosamine and D-glucuronic acid/L-iduronic acid. HS is a major component of the extracellular matrix and basement membranes and has been implicated in processes of the tissue’s integrity and functional state. The degradation of HS by HPSE enzyme leads to conditions like inflammation, angiogenesis, and metastasis. An elevated HPSE expression with a poor prognosis and its multiple roles in tumor growth and metastasis has attracted significant interest for its inhibition as a potential anti-neoplastic target.
Methods: We reviewed the literature from journal publication websites and electronic databases such as Bentham, Science Direct, PubMed, Scopus, USFDA, etc., about HPSE, its structure, functions, and role in cancer.
Results: The present review is focused on Heparanase inhibitors (HPIns) that have been isolated from natural resources or chemically synthesized as new therapeutics for metastatic tumors and chronic inflammatory diseases in recent years. The recent developments made in the HPSE structure and function are also discussed, which can lead to the future design of HPIns with more potency and specificity for the target.
Conclusion: HPIns can be a better target to be explored against various cancers.
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