Endoglin: An accessory component of the TGF-beta-binding receptor-complex with diagnostic, prognostic, and bioimmunotherapeutic potential in human malignancies.
Endoglin (CD105) is a cell membrane glycoprotein over-expressed on highly proliferating endothelial cells in culture, and on endothelial cells of angiogenetic blood vessels within benign and malignant tissues. CD105 binds several factors of the Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)-beta superfamily, and its over-expression modulates cellular responses to TGF-beta1. The complex of experimental findings accumulated in the last few years strongly indicate that CD105 is a powerful marker of angiogenesis, and that it might play a critical role in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases and in tumor progression. In this paper, we will review the structural, biological and functional features of CD105, as well as its distribution within normal and neoplastic tissues, emphasizing its foreseeable role as a molecular target for new diagnostic and bioimmunotherapeutic approaches in human malignancies.