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Glycoconj J. 1998 Jan;15(1):19-27.

Multiplex RT-PCR method for the analysis of the expression of human sialyltransferases: application to breast cancer cells.

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Laboratoire de Chimie Biologique, Unité Mixte de Recherche du C.N.R.S. no. 111, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.


In many cases of human cancer, the appearance of hypersialylated glycan structures is related to a precise stage of the disease; this may depend on altered regulation of one or more sialyltransferases genes. Since several distinct sialyltransferase enzymes arising from different unique genes transfer sialic acid residues in the same linkage onto the same acceptor, it is impossible to precisely determine which enzyme is involved in the observed phenotype based on enzymatic assays. We have developed a very sensitive and highly reproducible multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technique in order to monitor the expression of four human sialyltransferases genes ST6Gal I, ST3Gal I, ST3Gal III and ST3Gal IV in small cell samples. Multiplex PCR amplification using specific primers for each sialyltransferase and detection of amplification products by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is a method that is fast and easy to handle and has proven to be useful for establishing sialyltransferase patterns of expression in breast immortalized cell line HBL100 as well as in breast cancer cell lines MCF-7/6, MCF-7/AZ and MDA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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