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Cancer Res. 2008 May 15;68(10):3803-9. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6389.

Inhibition of N-linked glycosylation disrupts receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in tumor cells.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. jcontess@med.umich.edu

Abstract

Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) are therapeutic targets for the treatment of malignancy. However, tumor cells develop resistance to targeted therapies through the activation of parallel signaling cascades. Recent evidence has shown that redundant or compensatory survival signals responsible for resistance are initiated by nontargeted glycoprotein RTKs coexpressed by the cell. We hypothesized that disrupting specific functions of the posttranslational machinery of the secretory pathway would be an effective strategy to target both primary and redundant RTK signaling. Using the N-linked glycosylation inhibitor, tunicamycin, we show that expression levels of several RTKS (EGFR, ErbB2, ErbB3, and IGF-IR) are exquisitely sensitive to inhibition of N-linked glycosylation. Disrupting this synthetic process reduces both cellular protein levels and receptor activity in tumor cells through retention of the receptors in the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi compartments. Using U251 glioma and BXPC3 pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines, two cell lines resistant to epidermal growth factor receptor-targeted therapies, we show that inhibiting N-linked glycosylation markedly reduces RTK signaling through Akt and radiosensitizes tumor cells. In comparison, experiments in nontransformed cells showed neither a reduction in RTK-dependent signaling nor an enhancement in radiosensitivity, suggesting the potential for a therapeutic ratio between tumors and normal tissues. This study provides evidence that enzymatic steps regulating N-linked glycosylation are novel targets for developing approaches to sensitize tumor cells to cytotoxic therapies.

PMID:
18483264
PMCID:
PMC3696581
DOI:
10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6389
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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