J Cancer 2021; 12(23):7026-7040. doi:10.7150/jca.62281 This issue

Review

uPAR: An Essential Factor for Tumor Development

Tao Lv1,2✉#, Ying Zhao1#, Xinni Jiang3#, Hemei Yuan1, Haibo Wang1,2, Xuelin Cui1, Jiashun Xu1, Jingye Zhao1, Jianlin Wang4✉

1. College of Biological Resource and Food Engineering, Qujing Normal University, Qujing, Yunnan, China 655011.
2. Key Laboratory of Yunnan Province Universities of the Diversity and Ecological Adaptive Evolution for Animals and Plants on YunGui Plateau, Qujing Normal University, Qujing, China 655011.
3. School of Biological Sciences and Technology, Chengdu Medical College, Chengdu, Sichuan, China 610500.
4. College of Chemistry and Environmental Science, Qujing Normal University, Qujing, Yunnan, China 655011.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Lv T, Zhao Y, Jiang X, Yuan H, Wang H, Cui X, Xu J, Zhao J, Wang J. uPAR: An Essential Factor for Tumor Development. J Cancer 2021; 12(23):7026-7040. doi:10.7150/jca.62281. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p7026.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Tumorigenesis is closely related to the loss of control of many genes. Urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR), a glycolipid-anchored protein on the cell surface, is controlled by many factors in tumorigenesis and is expressed in many tumor tissues. In this review, we summarize the regulatory effects of the uPAR signaling pathway on processes and factors related to tumor progression, such as tumor cell proliferation, adhesion, metastasis, glycolysis, tumor microenvironment and angiogenesis. Overall, the evidence accumulated to date suggests that uPAR induction by tumor progression may be one of the most important factors affecting therapeutic efficacy. An improved understanding of the interactions between uPAR and its coreceptors in cancer will provide critical biomolecular information that may help to better predict the disease course and response to therapy.

Keywords: uPAR, tumorigenesis, proliferation, adhesion, metastasis, cancer therapy