The membrane receptor CD44: novel insights into metabolism

Xiong Weng, Samuel Maxwell-Warburton, Annie Hasib, Lifeng Ma, Li Kang (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)
156 Downloads (Pure)


CD44, a cell-surface glycoprotein, has long been studied as a cancer molecule due to its essential role in physiological activities in normal cells and pathological activities in cancer cells, such as cell proliferation, adhesion, and migration; angiogenesis; inflammation; and cytoskeleton rearrangement. Yet, recent evidence suggests a role of CD44 in metabolism, especially insulin resistance in obesity and diabetes. In line with the current concept of fibroinflammation in obesity and insulin resistance, CD44 as the main receptor of the extracellular matrix component, hyaluronan (HA), has been shown to regulate diet-induced insulin resistance in muscle and other insulin-sensitive tissues. In this review, we integrate current evidence for a role of CD44 in regulating glucose and lipid homeostasis and speculate about its involvement in the pathogenesis of chronic metabolic diseases, including obesity and diabetes. We summarize the current development of CD44-targeted therapies and discuss its potential for the use in treating metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-332
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
Early online date3 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • CD44
  • hyaluronan
  • osteopontin
  • obesity
  • diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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