Research group - Göran Andersson

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We study TRAP as a growth and differentiation factor for mesenchymal cells (adipocytes, osteoblasts), the involvement of TRAP and OPN in cancer metastasis and the functional role of OPN phosphorylation, and mapping of critical phosphorylation sites in OPN.

The large, multinucleated osteoclast is the cell in the skeleton primarily responsible for resorption of bone. The enzyme tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) has for a long time been used as a molecular marker for osteoclasts and bone resorption. The TRAP enzyme is secreted from the osteoclast into the resorption area, where the enzyme may modulate osteoclast attachment to bone by dephosphorylation of critical phosphorylated serine residues in the attachment protein osteopontin (OPN).

TRAP has also been shown to act as a human adipokine produced by macrophages, and secreted from the subcutaneous adipose tissue in vivo and in vitro. Secretion is linked to the size and number of adipocytes, as well as to concomitant secretion of inflammatory mediators, suggesting that TRAP is involved in fat accumulation and adipose inflammation.

TRAP protein expression has also been detected in the cancer cells of several primary malignant tumours, including breast, ovary and melanoma, whereas benign tumours from these sites were negative, supporting a role fr TRAP in the pathogenesis of cancer. OPN is also known to be upregulated during tumor progression and metastasis. Dephosphorylation by TRAP of OPN could affect the migratory capacity of these cells.

Research group leader Göran Andersson 


Göran Andersson

Phone: 08-585 810 31
Organizational unit: Division of Pathology

Group members

Anja ReithmeierPhD student
Barbro Ek-RylanderSenior researcher
Christina PatlakaPhD student
Göran AnderssonProfessor
Laia Mira PascualR&D trainee
Maria NorgårdLaboratory technician
Pernilla LångLecturer
Tulay LindbergSenior researcher
Tuomas NäreojaAssociated

Research techniques

  • Cell culturing
  • Histo- and immunohistochemistry
  • Light- and fluorescence microscopy
  • Protein expression and purification
  • Analysis of genetically modified animals
  • Biochemical and molecular biological analysis methods

External funding

Swedish Research Council, Cancerfonden,  Cancer- och Allergifonden, EU 

Selected publications

Activation of the liver X receptor-β potently inhibits osteoclastogenesis from lipopolysaccharide-exposed bone marrow-derived macrophages.
Robertson Remen K, Lerner U, Gustafsson J, Andersson G
J. Leukoc. Biol. 2013 Jan;93(1):71-82

Transgenic overexpression of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase is associated with induction of osteoblast gene expression and increased cortical bone mineral content and density.
Gradin P, Hollberg K, Cassady A, Lång P, Andersson G
Cells Tissues Organs (Print) 2012 ;196(1):68-81

Differential expression of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoforms 5a and 5b by tumor and stromal cells in human metastatic bone disease.
Zenger S, He W, Ek-Rylander B, Vassiliou D, Wedin R, Bauer H, et al
Clin. Exp. Metastasis 2011 Jan;28(1):65-73

Isolation and phenotypic characterization of a multinucleated tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive bone marrow macrophage.
Karlström E, Ek-Rylander B, Wendel M, Andersson G
Exp. Hematol. 2011 Mar;39(3):339-350.e3

Expression and secretion of the novel adipokine tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase from adipose tissues of obese and lean women.
Lång P, Zakaroff-Girard A, Wåhlén K, Andersson J, Olsson T, Bambace C, et al
Int J Obes (Lond) 2011 Dec;35(12):1502-10