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Table 1 List of commonly used biomarkers for CAFs

From: Biomarkers for cancer-associated fibroblasts

Marker Cell origin Biological effects Effects on tumors Clinical application
Neutral biomarkers with dual functions
 α-SMA Normal fibroblasts, quiescent stellate cells, smooth muscle cells Cell contractility, structure and integrity, desmoplasia Tumor proliferation, immunosuppressive; protection mechanism, impeding drug delivery Preclinical trials by targeting α-SMA directly failed; prognostic indicator
 S100A4 Normal fibroblasts, epithelial cells, endothelial cells Cell motility, tissue fibrosis Promoting metastasis, immune evasion; immune surveillance and response Unknown
Accomplices: pro-tumorigenesis biomarkers
 FAP Normal fibroblasts, quiescent stellate cells, CD45+ immune cells ECM remodeling, fibrogenesis, serine protease activity Tumor progression and metastasis, shaping the immunosuppressive TME Preclinical trials (antibody, inhibitor, DNA vaccination, oncolytic adenovirus, CAR-T); phase II clinical trials (PT-100, sibrotuzumab) failed; prognostic indicator
 PDGFRα/β Normal fibroblasts, vascular smooth muscle cells, pericytes Receptor tyrosine kinase activity Immunomodulation, M2 polarization, angiogenesis Dasatinib normalizes CAFs; targeting Saa3 in PDGFRα+ CAFs; prognostic indicator
 PDPN Endothelial cells Cell motility and adhesion Immunosuppressive Unknown
 CD70 T and B lymphocytes, mature dendritic cells T cell function regulation Immunosuppressive, tumor cell migration, T cell exhaustion Prognostic indicator
 Vimentin Epithelial cells, endothelial cells Cell motility, structure and integrity Tumor invasion Unknown
 GPR77 Polymorphonuclear neutrophils Complement activation, pro-inflammatory signaling Sustaining cancer stemness, cancer formation, chemoresistance Neutralizing anti-GPR77 antibody abolishes tumor formation in a PDX model
 CD10 BMSCs, pre-B lymphocytes Metalloendoprotease Sustaining cancer stemness, cancer formation, chemoresistance Unknown
 CD74 Normal fibroblasts, monocytes/macrophages, epithelial cells MHC II chaperone, protein trafficking Immunomodulation Unknown
Defenders: tumor-suppressive biomarkers
 CD146 Endothelial cells Cell adhesion Maintaining ER expression, sensitive to tamoxifen Prognostic indicator; Considered as a drug?
 CAV1 Normal fibroblasts, endothelial cells, adipocytes Structure component, cell signaling and transport CAV1low associated with poor prognosis Prognostic indicator
 Saa3 Smooth muscle cells, adipocytes Collagenase production PDGFRα+Saa3 CAF impairing tumor proliferation Targeting Saa3 in PDGFRα+ CAF; prognostic indicator