Tenascin-C Function in Glioma: Immunomodulation and Beyond

Fatih Yalcin, Omar Dzaye, Shuli Xia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


First identified in the 1980s, tenascin-C (TNC) is a multi-domain extracellular matrix glycoprotein abundantly expressed during the development of multicellular organisms. TNC level is undetectable in most adult tissues but rapidly and transiently induced by a handful of pro-inflammatory cytokines in a variety of pathological conditions including infection, inflammation, fibrosis, and wound healing. Persistent TNC expression is associated with chronic inflammation and many malignancies, including glioma. By interacting with its receptor integrin and a myriad of other binding partners, TNC elicits context- and cell type-dependent function to regulate cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, and angiogenesis. TNC operates as an endogenous activator of toll-like receptor 4 and promotes inflammatory response by inducing the expression of multiple pro-inflammatory factors in innate immune cells such as microglia and macrophages. In addition, TNC drives macrophage differentiation and polarization predominantly towards an M1-like phenotype. In contrast, TNC shows immunosuppressive function in T cells. In glioma, TNC is expressed by tumor cells and stromal cells; high expression of TNC is correlated with tumor progression and poor prognosis. Besides promoting glioma invasion and angiogenesis, TNC has been found to affect the morphology and function of tumor-associated microglia/macrophages in glioma. Clinically, TNC can serve as a biomarker for tumor progression; and TNC antibodies have been utilized as an adjuvant agent to deliver anti-tumor drugs to target glioma. A better mechanistic understanding of how TNC impacts innate and adaptive immunity during tumorigenesis and tumor progression will open new therapeutic avenues to treat brain tumors and other malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Adhesion
  • Angiogenesis
  • Brain
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Glioma
  • Immunomodulation
  • Inflammation
  • Integrin
  • Proliferation
  • T cells
  • Tenascin-C
  • Toll-like receptor
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Tumor-associated microglia/macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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