Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Mar;1780(3):546-63. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Mucin-type O-glycosylation and its potential use in drug and vaccine development.

Author information

Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, The Panum Institute, 6.4, Blegdamsvej 3, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.


Mucin-type O-glycans are found on mucins as well as many other glycoproteins. The initiation step in synthesis is catalyzed by a large family of polypeptide GalNAc-transferases attaching the first carbohydrate residue, GalNAc, to selected serine and threonine residues in proteins. During the last decade an increasing number of GalNAc-transferase isoforms have been cloned and their substrate-specificities partly characterized. These differences in substrate specificities have been exploited for in vitro site-directed O-glycosylation. In GlycoPEGylation, polyehylene glycol (PEG) is transferred to recombinant therapeutics to specific acceptor sites directed by GalNAc-transferases. GalNAc-transferases have also been used to control density of glycosylation in the development of glycopeptide-based cancer vaccines. The membrane-associated mucin-1 (MUC1) has long been considered a target for immunotherapeutic and immunodiagnostic measures, since it is highly overexpressed and aberrantly O-glycosylated in most adenocarcinomas, including breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. By using vaccines mimicking the glycosylation pattern of cancer-cells, it is possible to overcome tolerance in transgenic animals expressing the human MUC1 protein as a self-antigen providing important clues for an improved MUC1 vaccine design. The present review will highlight some of the potential applications of site-directed O-glycosylation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center