Investigating the Role of Heparanase in Breast Cancer Development Utilising the MMTV-PyMT Murine Model of Mammary Carcinoma

Krishnath M. Jayatilleke, Hendrika M. Duivenvoorden, Gemma F. Ryan, Belinda S. Parker, Mark D. Hulett

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Breast cancer is the second most common human malignancy and is a major global health burden. Heparanase (HPSE) has been widely implicated in enhancing the development and progression of solid tumours, including breast cancer. In this study, the well-established spontaneous mammary tumour-developing MMTV-PyMT murine model was utilised to examine the role of HPSE in breast cancer establishment, progression, and metastasis. The use of HPSE-deficient MMTV-PyMT (MMTV-PyMTxHPSE−/−) mice addressed the lack of genetic ablation models to investigate the role of HPSE in mammary tumours. It was demonstrated that even though HPSE regulated mammary tumour angiogenesis, mammary tumour progression and metastasis were HPSE-independent. Furthermore, there was no evidence of compensatory action by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in response to the lack of HPSE expression in the mammary tumours. These findings suggest that HPSE may not play a significant role in the mammary tumour development of MMTV-PyMT animals. Collectively, these observations may have implications in the clinical setting of breast cancer and therapy using HPSE inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3062
Number of pages25
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2023


  • breast cancer
  • heparanase

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