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J Proteome Res. 2006 Feb;5(2):308-15.

Proteomic analysis of serum associated fucosylated glycoproteins in the development of primary hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Drexel Institute for Biotechnology and Virology Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901, USA.


Changes in N-linked glycosylation are known to occur during the development of cancer. For example, increased branching of oligosaccharides has been associated with metastasis and has been correlated to tumor progression in human cancers of the breast, colon and melanomas. Increases in core fucosylation have also been associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus is associated with more than 55% of all cases of hepatocellular carcinoma. We show here that increased levels of core fucosylation can be observed via glycan analysis of total serum and are associated with the development of HCC. In a blinded study, the serum glycoproteins derived from people diagnosed with HBV induced liver cancer were found to possess a dramatically higher level of fucosylation. This change occurs on both immunoglobulin molecules and on other serum glycoproteins. Targeted glycoproteomic analysis was used to identify those glycoproteins that are hyperfucosylated in cancer. In total, 19 proteins were found to be hyperfucosylated in cancer. The potential of these proteins as biomarkers of cancer is discussed.

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