Periostin: A novel prognostic and therapeutic target for genitourinary cancer?

Pier Vitale Nuzzo, Giulia Buzzatti, Francesco Ricci, Alessandra Rubagotti, Francesca Argellati, Linda Zinoli, Francesco Boccardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many of the cellular abnormalities present in solid tumors are structural in nature and involve the proteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Periostin is a protein produced and secreted by the fibroblasts as a component of the ECM where it is involved in regulating intercellular adhesion. The expression of periostin has an important physiological role during embryogenesis and growth, namely at the level of bone, dental, and cardiac tissues. Many studies indicate that periostin plays an important role for tumor progression in various types of cancer, such as colon, lung, head and neck, breast, ovarian, and prostate. To the best of our knowledge, a limited number of studies have investigated periostin expression in urogenital cancer, such as prostate, bladder, penile, and renal cancer, and no studies were performed in testis cancer. In this review article, we summarize the most recent knowledge of periostin, its genetic and protein structure, and the role of the different isoforms identified and sequenced so far. In particular, we focus our attention on the role of this protein in genitourinary tumors, trying to emphasize the role not only as a possible prognostic marker, but also as a possible target for the development of future anticancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Genitourinary Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Biomarker
  • Extracellular matrix protein
  • Genitourinary tumors
  • Isoform
  • POSTN protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Medicine(all)


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