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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 20;8(6):e65218. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065218. Print 2013.

Modification of glycosylation mediates the invasive properties of murine hepatocarcinoma cell lines to lymph nodes.

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Department of Basic Laboratory Medicine, College of Laboratory Medicine, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning Province, China.


Among the various posttranslational modification reactions, glycosylation is the most common, and nearly 50% of all known proteins are thought to be glycosylated. In fact, changes in glycosylation readily occur in carcinogenesis, invasion and metastasis. This report investigated the modification of glycosylation mediated the invasive properties of Hca-F and Hca-P murine hepatocarcinoma cell lines, which have high, low metastatic potential in the lymph nodes, respectively. Analysis revealed that the N-glycan composition profiling, expression of glycogenes and lectin binding profiling were different in Hca-F cells, as compared to those in Hca-P cells. Further analysis of the N-glycan regulation by tunicamycin (TM) application or PNGase F treatment in Hca-F cells showed partial inhibition of N-glycan glycosylation and decreased invasion both in vitro and in vivo. We targeted glycogene ST6GAL1, which was expressed differently in Hca-F and Hca-P cells, and regulated the expression of ST6GAL1. The altered levels of ST6GAL1 were also responsible for changed invasive properties of Hca-F and Hca-P cells both in vitro and in vivo. These findings indicate a role for glycosylation modification as a mediator of tumor lymphatic metastasis, with its altered expression causing an invasive ability differentially.

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