Malignant gliomas aggressively invade the surrounding normal brain, whereas brain metastases of nonglial tumors do not. The invasive behavior of gliomas may be mediated by tissue- or tumor-specific extracellular proteins. mRNA for the brain-specific extracellular brain enriched hyaluronan-binding protein (BEHAB) is not detectable in normal adult human cortex or in any nonlioma tumor examined. BEHAB is consistently expressed in surgical samples of glioma (n = 27). Glioma cell lines maintained under standard cell culture conditions or grown as s.c. tumors do not express BEHAB. When grown as intracranial grafts, glioma cell lines that invade the brain express BEHAB, whereas noninvasive cell lines do not. BEHAB is a unique and selective marker for glioma and may play a role in tumor invasion.
This work was supported by NIH Grants EY06511 (S. H.) and EY06451 (D. M. J.).