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Glycobiology
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 19  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 1018 - 1033

Unusual accumulation of sulfated glycosphingolipids in colon cancer cells

K Shida, Y Misonou, H Korekane, Y Seki, S Noura, M Ohue, K Honke and Y. Miyamoto    

Abstract:

The structures of glycosphingolipids from highly purified colorectal cancer cells and normal colorectal epithelial cells of 16 patients have been analyzed in fine detail (Misonou Y, Shida K, Korekane H, Seki Y, Noura S, Ohue M, Miyamoto Y. 2009. Comprehensive Clinico-Glycomic Study of 16 Colorectal Cancer Specimens: Elucidation of aberrant glycosylation and ts mechanistic causes in colorectal cancer cells. J Proteome Res. 8:2990–3005). Further structural analyses demonstrated that colon cancer cells from two patients accumulated unusual glycosphingolipids which were not observed in either colorectal cancer cells or normal colorectal epithelial cells from the other patients. Mass spectrometry analyses revealed that the unusual structures include sulfated oligosaccharides. The structures of the glycosphingolipids of the cancer cells from these two cases were analyzed by methods which include enzymatic release of carbohydrate moieties, fluorescent labeling with aminopyridine and identification using two-dimensional mapping, enzymatic digestion and mass spectrometry together with methanolysis, and the use of newly synthesized sulfo-fucosylated oligosaccharides as standards. The colon cancer cells from one of the patients demonstrate a variety of oligosaccharides as major components which are sulfated at the C6 position of subterminal GlcNAc and at C3 positions of terminal galactose with or without sialylation or fucosylation. These include 6-sulfo Lex, 6'-sialyl 6-sulfo lactosamine, and 3'-sialyl 6-sulfo Lex, in addition to sialylated or fucosylated derivatives of type-1 and type-2 hybrid oligosaccharides. The colon cancer cells from the other patient have two kinds of sulfated oligosaccharides, a 6-sulfo Lex structure and a 3'-sulfo Lex structure, as minor components. Taking into consideration the clinical features of the two patients, the biological significance of sulfated glycosphingolipids on cancer cells is discussed.

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