The protective role of decorin in hepatic metastasis of colorectal carcinoma

Andrea Reszegi, Zsolt Horváth, Katalin Karászi, Eszter Regős, Victoria Postniková, Péter Tátrai, András Kiss, Zsuzsa Schaff, Ilona Kovalszky, Kornélia Baghy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Decorin, the prototype member of the small leucine-rich proteoglycan gene family of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, acts as a powerful tumor suppressor by inducing the p21Waf1/Cip1 cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, as well as through its ability to directly bind and block the action of several tyrosine kinase receptors. Our previous studies suggested that the lack of decorin promotes hepatic carcinogenesis in mice. Based on this, we set out to investigate whether excess decorin may protect against the liver metastases of colon carcinoma. We also analyzed the effect of decorin in tissue microarrays of human colon carcinoma liver metastasis and examined whether the tumor cells can directly influence the decorin production of myofibroblasts. In humans, low levels of decorin in the liver facilitated the development of colon carcinoma metastases in proportion with more aggressive phenotypes, indicating a possible antitumor action of the proteoglycan. In vitro, colon carcinoma cells inhibited decorin expression in LX2 hepatic stellate cells. Moreover, liver-targeted decorin delivery in mice effectively attenuated metastasis formation of colon cancer. Overexpressed decorin reduced the activity of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), an important player in colorectal cancer (CRC) pathogenesis. Downstream of that, we observed weakened signaling of ERK1/2, PLCγ, Akt/mTOR, STAT and c-Jun pathways, while p38 MAPK/MSK/CREB and AMPK were upregulated culminating in enhanced p53 function. In conclusion, decorin may effectively inhibit metastatic tumor formation in the liver.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1199
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Colorectal carcinoma
  • Decorin
  • ECM
  • Liver metastasis
  • RTK
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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