Heparanase: From Basic Research to Clinical Applications
In 2019, we mark the 20th anniversary of the cloning of the human heparanase gene. Heparanase remains the only known enzyme to cleave heparan sulfate, which is an abundant component of the extracellular matrix. Thus, elucidating the mechanisms underlying heparanase expression and activity is critical to understanding its role in healthy and pathological settings. This chapter provides a historical account of the race to clone the human heparanase gene, describes the intracellular and extracellular function of the enzyme, and explores the various mechanisms regulating heparanase expression and activity at the gene, transcript, and protein level.