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Proteomics. 2008 Aug;8(16):3263-73. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200800147.

Clinical application of functional glycoproteomics - dissection of glycotopes carried by soluble CD44 variants in sera of patients with cancers.

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Department of Molecular Pathology, Research Institute, Aichi Cancer Center, Nagoya, Japan.


We provide here an example of clinical application of functional glycoproteomics for cancer diagnosis. Sialyl Lewis a and sialyl Lewis x glycotopes, which are the specific ligands for selectins, and variant forms of CD44, which are the adhesion molecules recognizing hyaluronate, are both implicated in cancer metastasis. The CD44 variants modified by the sialyl Lewis a and sialyl Lewis x glycotopes are expected to have dual functions, serving as ligands for vascular selectins, and simultaneously having binding activity to vascular bed hyaluronate, and are expected to figure heavily in cancer metastasis. We developed a heterogeneous sandwich assay system to detect soluble CD44v specifically modified by the cancer-associated sialyl Lewis a/x glycotopes, using the extracellular domain of CD44v cleaved by the metalloproteinase ADAM10 as standard molecules. We also developed the assay system for CD44v modified by normal epithelial glycotopes including disialyl Lewis a and sialyl 6-sulfo Lewis x. The results indicated that serum levels of soluble CD44v modified by cancer-associated glycotopes were frequently increased in patients with cancers, while those of CD44v modified by the nonmalignant glycotopes tended to be elevated in patients with benign disorders.

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