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Exploring the Potential Role of Podoplanin in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

By: Anna Nowogrodzki
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The glycoprotein podoplanin seems to be required for cancer cell invasion in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, according to a recent preclinical study using in vitro mouse cells. Peter Angel, MD, of the German Cancer Research Center in Frankfurt, and colleagues published their results in Experimental Dermatology.

“Targeting podoplanin or its intra- or extracellular interaction partners may likely interfere with further tumor progression of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma,” the authors wrote.

The authors used CRISPR/Cas9 to edit the podoplanin gene in the mouse cell line BDVII, a line of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma cells. Incapacitating podoplanin in vitro led to decreased cell migration and invasion.

Then, the researchers injected cells into the dermis of nude female mice to simulate the formation of human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma tumors. They found that injecting cells with podoplanin resulted in smaller tumors than injecting control cells. They hypothesized that this might be because tumor cells without podoplanin are less able to infiltrate the stroma.

According to the authors, these findings suggest that podoplanin may play an essential role in cell invasion. Thus, cancer progression in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma could be a valuable therapeutic target. “Although blocking podoplanin-mediated signaling would only suppress cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma invasion, this therapeutic option might be beneficial for patients with locally advanced late-stage tumors,” the authors wrote. Further studies in human cells are necessary.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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