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Oncogene. 1998 Oct 22;17(16):2087-93.

The her-2/neu oncogene stimulates the transcription of N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V and expression of its cell surface oligosaccharide products.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, USA.


Malignant transformation is associated with changes in the glycosylation of cell surface proteins. For example, the N-linked oligosaccharides containing the [GlcNAc beta(1,6)Man] branch are increased after transformation of many cell types by a number of tumor viruses and oncogenes which induce the expression of N-acetylglucosaminyl-transferase V (GlcNAc-T V), the enzyme that adds this branch. A large percentage of human breast carcinomas have increased N-linked beta(1,6) branches on glycoproteins, while up to 30% of breast carcinomas have amplified the oncogene her-2/neu (erb-B2). We tested the hypothesis that expression of her-2/neu stimulates GlcNAc-T V gene expression and increases the beta(1,6) branching of N-linked oligosaccharides. We found that neu-transformed NIH3T3 cells have a threefold increase in GlcNAc-T V enzyme activity and increased beta(1,6) branching on a specific set of glycoproteins. Promoter/reporter experiments showed that her-2/neu stimulates transcription from the human GlcNAc-T V promoter and that the her-2/neu response element was located about 400 bp 5' of the transcription initiation site and includes three Ets transcription factor binding sequences. Co-transfections with dominant-negative Raf and Ets expression plasmids demonstrated that the transcriptional activation of the GlcNAc-T V promoter by neu is mediated by the Ras-Raf-Ets signal transduction pathway.

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