Maspin (mammary serine protease inhibitor) was identified in 1994 by subtractive hybridization analysis of normal mammary tissue and breast cancer cell lines. Subsequently, emerging evidence portrays maspin as a multifaceted protein, interacting with diverse group of intercellular and extracellular proteins, regulating cell adhesion, motility, apoptosis, and angiogenesis and critically involved in mammary gland development. The tissue-specific expression of maspin is epigenetically controlled, and aberrant methylation of maspin promoter is closely associated with maspin gene silencing. Identification of new tissue sites expressing maspin and novel maspin-binding partners has expanded the horizon for maspin research and promises maspin-based therapeutic approaches for combating cancer. This perspective briefly outlines the past and present strides in deciphering this unique molecule and speculates on new frontiers in maspin research and prospects of maspin as a diagnostic/prognostic indicator in cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research