Background Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is one of the most frequent forms of malignancy in humans and the most common in the white population . Although BCC is considered relatively innocent and is a tumor of low degree of malignancy, if left untreated, it can be locally aggressive, eat away at tissues and cause ulceration . Nodular is the most common subtype of BCC (>50%). Although apparently non-invasive, micronodular, a certain subgroup of nodular, is likely to recur. Extracellular matrix molecules are highly implicated in BCC pathogenesis . Hyaluronan is a glycosaminoglycan of great importance for skin diseases, like skin ageing [4,5].
Methods In this study, we have isolated and characterized the glycosaminoglycans from nodular BCC and normal adjacent human skin specimens and investigated the expression of hyaluronic acid (HA), synthases (HAS), hyaluronidases (HYAL), and HA receptors (CD44 and RHAMM) using RT-PCR.
Results We report that nodular BCC is associated with increased levels of fragmented HA concomitant with upregulation of gene expression of HAS3, HYAL3 and RHAMM, as compared to normal adjacent skin.
Conclusion These results indicate that HA homeostasis in nodular BCC shows distinct features and may be helpful in understanding the complex behaviour of nodular subtype of BCC, thus eventually leading to new treatment strategies.
Key Words: Nodular basal cell carcinoma, hyaluronan, CD44, RHAMM, hyaluronan homeostasis
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