Glypicans - A Brief Review


  • Kanupriya Gupta Faculty of Dental Sciences, IMS, BHU, Varanasi (U.P.) 221005, India
  • T.P. Chaturvedi Faculty of Dental Sciences, IMS, BHU, Varanasi (U.P.) 221005, India
  • Jatin Gupta Faculty of Dental Sciences, IMS, BHU, Varanasi (U.P.) 221005, India



Glypican, Hedgehogs, BMP.


Glypicans (GPCs) are a family of proteoglycans that are bound to the cell surface by a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor. Six glypicans have been found in the mammalian genome (GPC1 to GPC6). Glypicans can be released from the cell surface by a lipase called Notum, and most of them are subjected to endoproteolytic cleavage by furin-like convertases. In vivo evidence published so far indicates that the main function of membrane-attached glypicans is to regulate the signaling of Wnts, Hedgehogs, fibroblast growth factors and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Surprisingly, the regulatory activity of glypicans in the Wnt, Hedgehog and BMP signaling pathways is only partially dependent on the heparan sulfate chains. It is obvious that our knowledge of glypican functions is still very limited despite the recent advances. A better understanding of these functions will make a significant contribution to the study of signaling pathways that play a very important role in developmental morphogenesis and several human diseases, including cancer.


Filmus J, Selleck SB. Glypicans: proteoglycans with a surprise. J Clin Invest 2001; 108(4): 497-501. DOI:

Torisu Y, Watanabe A, Nonaka A, et al. Human homolog of NOTUM, overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma, is regulated transcriptionally by β‐catenin/TCF. Canc Sci 2008; 99(6): 1139-1146. DOI:

De Cat B, Muyldermans S-Y, Coomans C, et al. Processing by proprotein convertases is required for glypican-3 modulation of cell survival, Wnt signaling, and gastrulation movements. J Cell Biol 2003; 163(3): 625-635. DOI:

Filmus J, Capurro M. The glypican family. In: Karamanos, Nikos K. (Ed.), Extracellular Matrix: Pathobiology and Signaling. De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston, 2012; pp. 209-220. DOI:

Filmus J, et al. Glypicans. Genome Biol 2008; 9: 224.

Li F, et al. Glypican-5 stimulates rhabdomyosarcoma cell proliferation by activating Hedgehog signaling. J Cell Biol 2011; 192: 691-704. DOI:

Bologna-Molina R, Mosqueda-Taylor A, Molina‑Frechero N. Differential expression of glypican-1 in ameloblastoma variants. Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2015; 23: 153-60. DOI:

Filmus J, Capurro M, Rast J. Glypicans. Genome Biol 2008; 9: 224. DOI:

Mendes RB, Dias RB, Figueiredo AL, Gurgel CA, Santana Filho M, Melo LA, et al. Glypican-3 distinguishes aggressive from non-aggressive odontogenic tumors: A preliminary study. J Oral Pathol Med 2017; 46: 297-300. DOI:

Capurro M, Xiang YY, Lobe C, Filmus J. Glypican-3 promotes the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma by stimulating canonical Wnt signaling. Cancer Res 2005; 6655: 6245-6254. DOI:

Capurro MI, Xu P, Shi W, Li F, Jia A, Filmus J. Glypican-3 inhibits hedgehog signaling during development by competing with Patched for Hedgehog binding. Dev Cell 2008; 1144: 700-711. DOI:

Lum L, Yao S, Mozer B, Rovescalli A, Von Kessler D, Nirenberg M, Beachy PA. Identification of hedgehog pathway components by RNAi in Drosophila cultured cells. Science 2003; 229999: 2039-2045. DOI:

Song HH, Shi W, Filmus J. OCI-5/rat glypican-3 binds to fibroblast growth factor-2 but not to insulin -like growth factor-2. J Biol Chem 1997; 227722: 7574-7577. DOI:

Veugelers M, De Cat B, Ceulemans H, Bruystens AM, Coomans C,Durr J, Vermeesch J, Marynen P, David G. Glypican-6, a new member of the glypican family of cell surface proteoglycans. J Biol Chem 1999; 227744: 26968-26977. DOI:

Topczewsky J, Sepich DS, Myers DC, Walker C, Amores A, Lele Z, Hammerschmidt M, Postlethwait J, Solnica-Krezel L. The zebrafish glypican Knypek controls cell polarity during gastrulation movements of convergent extension. Dev Cell 2001; 11: 251-264. DOI:




How to Cite

Kanupriya Gupta, T.P. Chaturvedi, & Jatin Gupta. (2019). Glypicans - A Brief Review . Journal of Analytical Oncology, 8, 68–70.