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Review

Glycosaminoglycans: Carriers and Targets for Tailored Anti-Cancer Therapy

1
Laboratory of Histology-Embryology, School of Medicine, University of Crete, 71003 Heraklion, Greece
2
Department of Immunology, Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology, 050096 Bucharest, Romania
3
Department of Technology of Chemical Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Substances, D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, 125047 Moscow, Russia
4
Laboratory of Toxicology, School of Medicine, University of Crete, 71003 Heraklion, Greece
5
Laboratory of Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Crete, 71003 Heraklion, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vladimir N. Uversky
Biomolecules 2021, 11(3), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11030395
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 25 February 2021 / Accepted: 4 March 2021 / Published: 8 March 2021
The tumor microenvironment (TME) is composed of cancerous, non-cancerous, stromal, and immune cells that are surrounded by the components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), natural biomacromolecules, essential ECM, and cell membrane components are extensively altered in cancer tissues. During disease progression, the GAG fine structure changes in a manner associated with disease evolution. Thus, changes in the GAG sulfation pattern are immediately correlated to malignant transformation. Their molecular weight, distribution, composition, and fine modifications, including sulfation, exhibit distinct alterations during cancer development. GAGs and GAG-based molecules, due to their unique properties, are suggested as promising effectors for anticancer therapy. Considering their participation in tumorigenesis, their utilization in drug development has been the focus of both industry and academic research efforts. These efforts have been developing in two main directions; (i) utilizing GAGs as targets of therapeutic strategies and (ii) employing GAGs specificity and excellent physicochemical properties for targeted delivery of cancer therapeutics. This review will comprehensively discuss recent developments and the broad potential of GAG utilization for cancer therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: glycosaminoglycans; cancer; cancer therapy; hyaluronan; heparan sulfate; heparin; chondroitin sulfate; drug carriers; nanomaterial; therapy targets glycosaminoglycans; cancer; cancer therapy; hyaluronan; heparan sulfate; heparin; chondroitin sulfate; drug carriers; nanomaterial; therapy targets
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MDPI and ACS Style

Berdiaki, A.; Neagu, M.; Giatagana, E.-M.; Kuskov, A.; Tsatsakis, A.M.; Tzanakakis, G.N.; Nikitovic, D. Glycosaminoglycans: Carriers and Targets for Tailored Anti-Cancer Therapy. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 395. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11030395

AMA Style

Berdiaki A, Neagu M, Giatagana E-M, Kuskov A, Tsatsakis AM, Tzanakakis GN, Nikitovic D. Glycosaminoglycans: Carriers and Targets for Tailored Anti-Cancer Therapy. Biomolecules. 2021; 11(3):395. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11030395

Chicago/Turabian Style

Berdiaki, Aikaterini, Monica Neagu, Eirini-Maria Giatagana, Andrey Kuskov, Aristidis M. Tsatsakis, George N. Tzanakakis, and Dragana Nikitovic. 2021. "Glycosaminoglycans: Carriers and Targets for Tailored Anti-Cancer Therapy" Biomolecules 11, no. 3: 395. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11030395

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