Hyaluronic acid (HA) is abundant in tumor microenvironment and closely associated with invasiveness of glioblastoma (GBM) cells. However, the cellular mechanism underlying HA-rich microenvironment in GBM remains unexplored. Here, we show that tumor-associated mesenchymal stem-like cells (tMSLCs) contribute to abundance of hyaluronic acid (HA) in tumor microenvironment through HA synthase-2 (HAS2) induction, and thereby enhances invasiveness of GBM cells. In an autocrine manner, C5a secreted by tMSLCs activated ERK MAPK for HAS2 induction in tMSLCs. Importantly, HA acted as a signaling ligand of its cognate receptor RHAMM for intracellular signaling activation underlying invasiveness of GBM cells. Taken together, our study suggests that tMSLCs contribute to HA-rich proinvasive ECM microenvironment in GBM.
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