Schwann cell tumors express characteristic patterns of CD44 splice variants

Larry Sherman, Petra Skroch-Angel, Jurgen Moll, Karl Schwechheimer, Helmut Ponta, Peter Herrlich, Martin Hofmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Members of the CD44 family of cell surface hyaluronate-binding proteins have been implicated in cell migration, cell-matrix interactions and tumor progression. To determine whether these proteins might play a role in the normal functions of Schwann cells and in their tumorigenesis, we examined the patterns of CD44 expression in Schwann cells from rat peripheral nerve, rat Schwann cell tumor lines, and human schwannomas. Normal rat spinal nerves and primary Schwann cell cultures expressed standard CD44 (CD44s) but not alternatively spliced variant isoforms. In contrast, rat Schwann cell tumor lines expressed both CD44s and a number of variants, including proteins containing sequences encoded by exon v6. Furthermore, we found that these cell lines bind hyaluronate, and that their cell surface hyaluronate binding correlates with CD44 expression. All of the human schwannomas also expressed CD44 variants, especially epitopes encoded by exon v5, the border between v7 and v8, and v9-10. These data indicate that Schwann cells normally express CD44s, that Schwann cell tumors express both CD44s and particular variants of CD44, and that CD44s and possibly variants of CD44 are involved in hyaluronate recognition by Schwann cell tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-184
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • CD44
  • Schwann cells
  • hyaluronate
  • schwannoma
  • sensory neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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