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Int J Oncol. 2001 Oct;19(4):723-31.

Enhanced GM3 expression, associated with decreased invasiveness, is induced by brefeldin A in bladder cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai 980-8574, Japan.


We reported previously that non-invasive bladder cancer expresses high level of GM3 ganglioside, whereas invasive tumors have low levels. Since glycosphingolipid synthesis in Golgi is modified greatly by a macrocyclic lactone isolated from fungi, brefeldin A (BFA), we studied effects of BFA on expression of glycosphingolipids and on invasiveness of bladder cancer cell lines. Only GM3 synthesis in invasive tumors was greatly enhanced upon treatment with BFA; synthesis of other glycosphingolipids with lacto-series type 2 or globo-series structure in both invasive and non-invasive tumors was not changed. Invasiveness of bladder cancer cells was greatly decreased in association with the great increase of GM3 synthesis induced by BFA treatment. Level of sialyl-Lex expressed in invasive cell line YTS1, which provides the adhesive property of the cells to E-selectin, was unchanged upon BFA treatment. All the bladder cancer cell lines, regardless of invasiveness, highly express tetraspanin CD9. GM3 has been implicated as a co-factor of CD9 in control of tumor cell motility. Down-regulation of CD9 is associated with metastatic properties of tumor cells and survival of patients with colonic cancer. Therefore, enhanced synthesis of GM3 induced by BFA, causing decrease of invasiveness in bladder cancer, is ascribable to the capability of GM3 to interconnect integrin with CD9, in analogy to colonic cancer and perhaps many other types of cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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