The syndecans are a family of transmembrane proteoglycans that are widespread in mammalian tissues. Located at the cell surface membrane, they contribute to modulating the composition of the extracellular matrix via glycosaminoglycan chains (GAGs) attached to their extracellular domains. Syndecans can interact with a variety of extracellular ligands through their core proteins and GAGs, and may also transmit signals through their transmembrane domain to regulate intracellular functions. These properties enable syndecan to modulate glycocalyx formation, epithelial cell-to-cell connections for cell barrier formation, and epithelial cell-lamina propria interactions in the colon epithelium, all of which are crucial for the homeostasis of this tissue. Inflammation induces structural alterations of the colon epithelium, and accumulating evidence suggests that syndecan expression might play important regulatory functions during inflammation. This review summarizes the possible roles of syndecans in maintaining tissue homeostasis in the colon epithelium, especially under inflammation.
- colon epithelium
- tissue homeostasis