Send to

Choose Destination
Biochem J. 2012 Aug 1;445(3):403-11. doi: 10.1042/BJ20111923.

TGF-β sensitivity is determined by N-linked glycosylation of the type II TGF-β receptor.

Author information

CHA Cancer Research Institute, CHA University, Seoul, 135-081, South Korea.


N-linked glycosylation is a critical determinant of protein structure and function, regulating processes such as protein folding, stability and localization, ligand-receptor binding and intracellular signalling. TβRII [type II TGF-β (transforming growth factor β) receptor] plays a crucial role in the TGF-β signalling pathway. Although N-linked glycosylation of TβRII was first demonstrated over a decade ago, it was unclear how this modification influenced TβRII biology. In the present study, we show that inhibiting the N-linked glycosylation process successfully hinders binding of TGF-β1 to TβRII and subsequently renders cells resistant to TGF-β signalling. The lung cancer cell line A549, the gastric carcinoma cell line MKN1 and the immortal cell line HEK (human embryonic kidney)-293 exhibit reduced TGF-β signalling when either treated with two inhibitors, including tunicamycin (a potent N-linked glycosylation inhibitor) and kifunensine [an inhibitor of ER (endoplasmic reticulum) and Golgi mannosidase I family members], or introduced with a non-glycosylated mutant version of TβRII. We demonstrate that defective N-linked glycosylation prevents TβRII proteins from being transported to the cell surface. Moreover, we clearly show that not only the complex type, but also a high-mannose type, of TβRII can be localized on the cell surface. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that N-linked glycosylation is essentially required for the successful cell surface transportation of TβRII, suggesting a novel mechanism by which the TGF-β sensitivity can be regulated by N-linked glycosylation levels of TβRII.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center