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Nat Med. 2007 Sep;13(9):1070-7. Epub 2007 Sep 2.

Death-receptor O-glycosylation controls tumor-cell sensitivity to the proapoptotic ligand Apo2L/TRAIL.

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Department of Molecular Diagnostics, Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.


Apo2L/TRAIL stimulates cancer cell death through the proapoptotic receptors DR4 and DR5, but the determinants of tumor susceptibility to this ligand are not fully defined. mRNA expression of the peptidyl O-glycosyltransferase GALNT14 correlated with Apo2L/TRAIL sensitivity in pancreatic carcinoma, non-small-cell lung carcinoma and melanoma cell lines, and up to 30% of samples from various human malignancies showed GALNT14 overexpression. RNA interference of GALNT14 reduced cellular Apo2L/TRAIL sensitivity, whereas overexpression increased responsiveness. Biochemical analysis of DR5 identified several ectodomain O-(N-acetyl galactosamine-galactose-sialic acid) structures. Sequence comparison predicted conserved extracellular DR4 and DR5 O-glycosylation sites; progressive mutation of the DR5 sites attenuated apoptotic signaling. O-glycosylation promoted ligand-stimulated clustering of DR4 and DR5, which mediated recruitment and activation of the apoptosis-initiating protease caspase-8. These results uncover a new link between death-receptor O-glycosylation and apoptotic signaling, providing potential predictive biomarkers for Apo2L/TRAIL-based cancer therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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