Cancer Attachment image

Cancer cells have been known to attach to endothelial cells during metastasis. The glycocalyx on endothelial cells plays a significant role in the attachment of cancer cells to the endothelium.  The degradation of endothelial glycocalyx (GCX), which can be caused by the presence of cytokines released by metastatic tumors, facilitates the formation of ligand-receptor complexes on the surfaces of both cancer and endothelial cells, causing increased levels of cancer cell attachment. Currently, we have shown that the glycosaminoglycan sialic acid plays a significant role in the attachment of cancer cells to the endothelium.

Neuraminidase, which specifically targets sialic acid, was used to mimic in vivo conditions of patients with metastatic tumors, where the glycocalyx is hypothesized to be degraded on account of increased levels of GAG’s in the blood serum of some patients. Through additional in vitro and in vivo experiments, we hope to further elucidate the role of the glycocalyx in prevention of cancer metastasis.

Selected Publications

Cancel, Limary Melissa, Eno E. Ebong, and John M. Tarbell. Endothelial apoptosis and glycocalyx morphology in plaque and non-plaque areas of the mouse atherosclerotic brachiocephalic artery. The FASEB Journal27.1_MeetingAbstracts (2013): 869-4. LINK

Cancel LM, Ebong EE, Mensah S, Hirschberg C, Tarbell JM. Endothelial glycocalyx, apoptosis and inflammation in an atherosclerotic mouse model Atherosclerosis 252 (2016): 136-146. LINK

Ebong, Eno Essien, Sanghee Kim, and Natacha DePaola. Flow regulates intercellular communication in HAEC by assembling functional Cx40 and Cx37 gap junctional channels American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology290.5 (2006): H2015-H2023. LINK

Ebong, Eno Essien, David C. Spray, and John M. Tarbell. Glycocalyx Core Proteins Selectively Mediate Endothelial NOS activation and Cell Alignment in Response to Shear Stress. The FASEB Journal27.1_MeetingAbstracts (2013): 379-3.

Harding, I. C., Mitra, R., Mensah, S. A., Herman, I. M., & Ebong, E. E. Pro-atherosclerotic disturbed flow disrupts caveolin-1 expression, localization, and function via glycocalyx degradation Journal of Translational Medicine. 2018 Dec 18;16(1):364. LINK

Mensah, S.A., et al., Regeneration of glycocalyx by heparan sulfate and sphingosine 1-phosphate restores inter-endothelial communication PLoS One, 2017. 12(10): p. e0186116.

Ebong, Eno Essien, David C. Spray, and John M. Tarbell. The Endothelial Glycocalyx In Vitro: Its Structure and The Role of Heparan Sulfate and Glypican-1 in eNOS Activation by Flow. The FASEB Journal24.1_MeetingAbstracts (2010): 784-8.

Tarbell, John M., and Eno E. Ebong. The endothelial glycocalyx: a mechano-sensor and-transducer Science signaling1.40 (2008): pt8-pt8.

Ebong, E. E., D. C. Spray, and J. M. Tarbell. The endothelial glycocalyx: Its structure and role in eNOS mechano-activation Bioengineering Conference, Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE 36th Annual Northeast. IEEE, 2010. LINK

Ebong, Eno Essien, David C. Spray, and John M. Tarbell. The Glypican-1 HS Core Protein of the Glycocalyx is Important for Flow-induced Endothelial NOS Activation but not Cell Remodeling. The FASEB Journal25.1_MeetingAbstracts (2011): 39-9.

Ebong, E. E., D. C. Spray, and J. M. Tarbell. The role of the endothelial glycocalyx layer in transducing fluid shear stress into intracellular signaling events Biorheology. Vol. 45. No. 1-2. NIEUWE HEMWEG 6B, 1013 BG AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: IOS PRESS, 2008.

Ebong, E. E., D. C. Spray, and J. M. Tarbell. The Roles of HS and Its Glypican-1 Core Protein in Flow-Induced Endothelial NOS Activation and Cell Remodeling ASME 2011 Summer Bioengineering Conference. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2011. LINK