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Breast Cancer Res. 2000;2(5):321-3. Epub 2000 Jul 7.

Metastases: the glycan connection.

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Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis, Division of Basic Science, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


An association between protein glycosylation and tumorigenesis has been recognized for over 10 years. Associations linking the importance of glycosylation events to tumor biology, especially the progression to metastatic disease, have been noted over many years, Recently, a mouse model in which beta1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (a rate-limiting enzyme in the N-glycan pathway) has been knocked out, was used to demonstrate the importance of glycosylation in tumor progression. By crossing mice lacking this enzyme with a transgenic mouse model of metastatic breast cancer, metastatic progression of the disease was dramatically reduced. These experiments provide in vivo evidence for the role of N-linked glycosylation in metastatic breast cancer and have significant implications for the development of new treatment strategies.

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