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Glycoconj J. 2014 Dec;31(9):623-36. doi: 10.1007/s10719-014-9564-4. Epub 2014 Nov 15.

Glycosylation of uroplakins. Implications for bladder physiopathology.

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Department of Chemistry and Immunochemistry, Medical University of Wroclaw, Bujwida 44a, 50-345, Wroclaw, Poland.


Urothelium, a specialized epithelium, covers the urinary tract and act not only as a barrier separating its light from the surrounding tissues, but fulfills an important role in maintaining the homeostasis of the urothelial tract and well-being of the whole organism. Proper function of urothelium is dependent on the precise assemble of highly specialized glycoproteins called uroplakins, the end products and differentiation markers of the urothelial cells. Glycosylation changes in uroplakins correlate with and might reflect progressive stages of pathological conditions of the urothelium such as cancer, urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis and others. In this review we focus on sugar components of uroplakins, their emerging role in urothelial biology and disease implications. The advances in our understanding of uroplakins changes in glycan moieties composition, structure, assembly and expression of their glycovariants could potentially lead to the development of targeted therapies and discoveries of novel urine and plasma markers for the benefit of patients with urinary tract diseases.

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