Shed syndecan-1 translocates to the nucleus of cells delivering growth factors and inhibiting histone acetylation: A novel mechanism of tumor-host cross-talk

Academic Article


  • The heparan sulfate proteoglycan syndecan-1 is proteolytically shed from the surface of multiple myeloma cells and is abundant in the bone marrow microenvironment where it promotes tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that shed syndecan-1 present in the medium conditioned by tumor cells is taken up by bone marrow-derived stromal cells and transported to the nucleus. Translocation of shed syndecan-1 (sSDC1) to the nucleus was blocked by addition of exogenous heparin or heparan sulfate, pretreatment of conditioned medium with heparinase III, or growth of cells in sodium chlorate, indicating that sulfated heparan sulfate chains are required for nuclear translocation. Interestingly, cargo bound to sSDC1 heparan sulfate chains (i.e. hepatocyte growth factor) was transported to the nucleus along with sSDC1, and removal of heparan sulfate-bound cargo from sSDC1 abolished its translocation to the nucleus. Once in the nucleus, sSDC1 binds to the histone acetyltransferase enzyme p300, and histone acetyltransferase activity and histone acetylation are diminished. These findings reveal a novel function for shed syndecan-1 in mediating tumor-host cross-talk by shuttling growth factors to the nucleus and by altering histone acetylation in host cells. In addition, this work has broad implications beyond myeloma because shed syndecan-1 is present in high levels in many tumor types as well as in other disease states.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stewart MD; Ramani VC; Sanderson RD
  • Start Page

  • 941
  • End Page

  • 949
  • Volume

  • 290
  • Issue

  • 2