At the cellular level, Glypican-3 may act as a co-receptor or storage pocket for several growth factors, including Wnts, Hedgehogs, fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), and bone morphogenetic proteins, therefore regulating the interaction of these growth factors to their cell-surface receptors. This may explain the observation that cell-surface Glypican-3 promoted the growth of Hepatocellular carcinoma cells in the many studies.To date, several mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against Glypican-3 have been produced, and almost all of them target a peptide derived from Glypican-3. However, none of these antibodies have shown the ability to inhibit Hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation or induce apoptosis. Consequently, they are used as a research tool, with the exception of GC33, which is currently being developed as a potential therapeutic agent. Together, four Glypican-3 antibodies including GC33 are being developed for liver cancer therapy.
Ho MF, Mitchell. Glypican-3 antibodies: a new therapeutic target for liver cancer. FEBS letters. 2014;588(2):377-382.