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Cancer Res. 2014 Jun 15;74(12):3199-204. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0728. Epub 2014 May 15.

Sialic acids sweeten a tumor's life.

Author information

1
Authors' Affiliation: Department of Tumor Immunology, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
2
Authors' Affiliation: Department of Tumor Immunology, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands g.adema@ncmls.ru.nl.

Abstract

Over four decades ago, specific tumor characteristics were ascribed to the increased expression of sialic acid sugars on the surface of cancer cells, and this led to the definition of sialic acids as potential therapeutic targets. Recent advances in glycobiology and cancer research have defined the key processes underlying aberrant expression of sialic acids in cancer, and its consequences, more precisely. These consequences include effects on tumor growth, escape from apoptosis, metastasis formation, and resistance to therapy. Collectively, these novel insights provide further rationale for the design and development of therapeutic approaches that interfere with excessively high expression of sialic acids in cancer cells. Strategies to target aberrant sialylation in cancer, however, have evolved comparatively slowly. Here, we review recent findings that emphasize the detrimental effects of hypersialylation on multiple aspects of tumor growth and behavior. We also discuss novel therapeutic strategies.

PMID:
24830719
DOI:
10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0728
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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