SPARC-like protein 1 (SPARCL1; also known as SC1, high endothelial venule protein, or hevin) is an extracellular matrix-associated, secreted glycoprotein belonging to the secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) family of matricellular proteins. It contains three conserved structural domains that are implicated in the regulation of cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. SPARCL1 is expressed during embryogenesis and tissue remodeling and is especially prominent in brain and vasculature. Its down-regulation in a number of cancers and the possibility of its functional compensation by SPARC has led to recent interest in hevin as a tumor suppressor and regulator of angiogenesis. SPARCL1 has antiadhesive properties, and loss of SPARCL1 expression is associated with increased proliferative activity and cell cycle progression. It is suggested that it may influence multiple cellular processes during distinct stages of brain development and function. In addition, SPARCL1 can influence the function of astroglial cells in the developing and mature central nervous system (CNS).
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