Bikunin is a small chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (PG) with Ser-protease inhibitory activity that plays pleiotropic roles in health and disease. It is involved in several physiological processes including stabilization of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of connective tissues and key reproductive events. Bikunin is also implicated in both acute and chronic inflammatory conditions and represents a non-invasive circulating and/or urinary (as Urinary Trypsin Inhibitor or UTI) biomarker. It exerts inhibitory effects on urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR) mediating tumor invasiveness by a down-regulation of uPA mRNA expression, thus representing an anti-metastatic agent. However, only limited data on its potential as a diagnostic and/or prognostic marker of cancer have been reported so far. Recent technological advances in mass spectrometry-based proteomics have provided researchers with a huge amount of information allowing for large-scale surveys of the cancer proteome. To address such issues, we analyzed bikunin expression data across several types of tumors, by using UALCAN proteogenomic analysis portal. In this article we critically review the roles of bikunin in human pathobiology, with a special focus on its inhibitory effects and mechanisms in cancer aggressiveness as well as its significance as cancer circulating biomarker.
Molecular and pathobiological insights of bikunin/UTI in cancer / Lepedda, Antonio Junior; Nieddu, Gabriele; Cannas, Claudia; Formato, Marilena. - In: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY REPORTS. - ISSN 0301-4851. - (2022). [10.1007/s11033-022-08117-2]