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Glycosaminoglycans modulate C6 glioma cell adhesion to extracellular matrix components and alter cell proliferation and cell migration

Claudia Beatriz Nedel Mendes de Aguiar1, Bruno Lobão-Soares12, Marcio Alvarez-Silva1 and Andréa Gonçalves Trentin1*

Author affiliations

1 Departamento de Biologia Celular, Embriologia e Genética, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil

2 Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Hospital das Clinicas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

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Citation and License

BMC Cell Biology 2005, 6:31  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-6-31

Published: 19 August 2005



Adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) components has been implicated in the proliferative and invasive properties of tumor cells. We investigated the ability of C6 glioma cells to attach to ECM components in vitro and described the regulatory role of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on their adhesion to the substrate, proliferation and migration.


ECM proteins (type IV collagen, laminin and fibronectin) stimulate rat C6 glioma cell line adhesion in vitro, in a dose-dependent manner. The higher adhesion values were achieved with type IV collagen. Exogenous heparin or chondroitin sulfate impaired, in a dose-dependent manner the attachment of C6 glioma cell line to laminin and fibronectin, but not to type IV collagen. Dextran sulfate did not affect C6 adhesion to any ECM protein analyzed, indicating a specific role of GAGs in mediating glioma adhesion to laminin and fibronectin. GAGs and dextran sulfate did not induce C6 glioma detachment from any tested substrate suggesting specific effect in the initial step of cell adhesion. Furthermore, heparin and chondroitin sulfate impaired C6 cells proliferation on fibronectin, but not on type IV collagen or laminin. In contrast, both GAGs stimulate the glioma migration on laminin without effect on type IV collagen or fibronectin.


The results suggest that GAGs and proteoglycans regulate glioma cell adhesion to ECM proteins in specific manner leading to cell proliferation or cell migration, according to the ECM composition, thus modulating tumor cell properties.