One of a family of core proteins with sugars attached to the cell surfaces that control or influence tissue repair, metabolism, the formation of tumors and the development of immune responses. The name is derived from the Greek syndein, to bind together.

There are 4 known members of the syndecan family. All are proteoglycans (molecules composed of protein and glycosaminoglycans, a type of polysaccharide). The syndecans are ubiquitous components of the plasma membranes of cells, act as receptors for the extracellular matrix, and are involved in intracellular communication.

The gene SDC1 for syndecan-1 is on chromosome 2p24.1. The gene SDC2 for syndecan-2 is on chromosome 8q22-q24. The gene SDC3 for syndecan-3 has not yet been mapped to a specific chromosome location. The gene SDC4 for syndecan-4 is on chromosome 20q12-q13.

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