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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Mar 10;341(2):614-9. Epub 2006 Jan 13.

Soyasaponin I decreases the expression of alpha2,3-linked sialic acid on the cell surface and suppresses the metastatic potential of B16F10 melanoma cells.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


The transfer of sialic acids to the non-reducing terminal positions on sugar chains of glycoconjugates is catalyzed by sialyltransferases (STs). Increased sialylation is correlated with oncogenic transformation and metastatic potential. ST inhibitors may be potentially valuable as anti-cancer and anti-metastatic agents. In this study, we evaluated the effects of soyasaponin I (Ssa I), a known inhibitor of STs, on tumor metastasis through studying a highly metastatic cancer cell line B16F10. Ssa I specifically inhibited the expression of alpha2,3-linked sialic acids without affecting other glycans on the B16F10 cell surface. We also found that Ssa I decreased the migratory ability of cells, enhanced cell adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins. Finally, a pulmonary metastasis assay demonstrated that alteration of glycosylation in this way significantly reduced the ability of tumor cells to distribute to the lungs of mice. Collectively, these findings suggested that alpha2,3-linked sialic acids may play an important role in metastasis potential of B16F10 cells.

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