Fucosylated TGF-? receptors transduces a signal for epithelial-mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) is a major inducer of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in different cell types. TGF-?-mediated EMT is thought to contribute to tumour cell spread and metastasis. Sialyl Lewis antigens synthesised by fucosyltransferase (FUT) 3 and FUT6 are highly expressed in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) and are utilised as tumour markers for cancer detection and evaluation of treatment efficacy. However, the role of FUT3 and FUT6 in augmenting the malignant potential of CRC induced by TGF-? is unclear. METHODS: Colorectal cancer cell lines were transfected with siRNAs for FUT3/6 and were examined by cell proliferation, invasion and migration assays. The expression and phosphorylation status of TGF-? downstream molecules were analysed by western blot. Fucosylation of TGF-? receptor (T?R) was examined by lectin blot analysis. RESULTS: Inhibition of FUT3/6 expression by siRNAs suppressed the fucosylation of type I T?R and phosphorylation of the downstream molecules, thereby inhibiting the invasion and migration of CRC cells by EMT. CONCLUSION: Fucosyltransferase 3/6 has an essential role in cancer cell adhesion to endothelial cells by upregulation of sialyl Lewis antigens and also by enhancement of cancer cell migration through TGF-?-mediated EMT.
Project description:Fucosylation is a post?translational modification that attaches fucose residues to protein? or lipid?bound oligosaccharides. Certain fucosylation pathway genes are aberrantly expressed in several types of cancer, including non?small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and this aberrant expression is associated with poor prognosis in patients with cancer. However, the molecular mechanism by which these fucosylation pathway genes promote tumor progression has not been well?characterized. The present study analyzed public microarray data obtained from NSCLC samples. Multivariate analysis revealed that altered expression of fucosylation pathway genes, including fucosyltransferase 1 (FUT1), FUT2, FUT3, FUT6, FUT8 and GDP?L?fucose synthase (TSTA3), correlated with poor survival in patients with NSCLC. Inhibition of FUTs by 2F?peracetyl?fucose (2F?PAF) suppressed transforming growth factor ? (TGF?)?mediated Smad3 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation in NSCLC cells. In addition, wound?healing and Transwell migration assays demonstrated that 2F?PAF inhibited TGF??induced NSCLC cell migration and invasion. Furthermore, in vivo bioluminescence imaging analysis revealed that 2F?PAF attenuated the metastatic capacity of NSCLC cells. These results may help characterize the oncogenic role of fucosylation in NSCLC biology and highlight its potential for developing cancer therapeutics.
Project description:Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is an aggressive malignancy with high mortality rates. Major challenges for OSCC management include development of resistance to therapy and early formation of distant metastases. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have emerged as important players in both pathologic mechanisms. Increased fucosylation activity and increased expression of fucosylated polysaccharides, such as Sialyl Lewis X (SLex), are associated with invasion and metastasis. However, the role of fucosylation in CSCs has not been elucidated yet. We used the spheroid culture technique to obtain a CSC-enriched population and compared orospheres with adherent cells. We found that orospheres expressed markers of CSCs and metastasis at higher levels, were more invasive and tumorigenic, and were more resistant to cisplatin/radiation than adherent counterparts. We found fucosyltransferases FUT3 and FUT6 highly up-regulated, increased SLex expression and increased adhesion by shear flow assays in orospheres. Inhibition of fucosylation negatively affected orospheres formation and invasion of oral CSCs. These results confirm that orospheres are enriched in CSCs and that fucosylation is of paramount importance for CSC invasion. In addition, SLex may play a key role in CSC metastasis. Thus, inhibition of fucosylation may be used to block CSCs and metastatic spread.
Project description:Metastasis is the main cause of death among colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. E-selectin and its carbohydrate ligands, including sialyl Lewis X (sLeX) antigen, are key players in the binding of circulating tumor cells to the endothelium, which is one of the major events leading to organ invasion. Nevertheless, the identity of the glycoprotein scaffolds presenting these glycans in CRC remains unclear. In this study, we firstly have characterized the glycoengineered cell line SW620 transfected with the fucosyltransferase 6 (FUT6) coding for the ?1,3-fucosyltransferase 6 (FUT6), which is the main enzyme responsible for the synthesis of sLeX in CRC. The SW620FUT6 cell line expressed high levels of sLeX antigen and E-selectin ligands. Moreover, it displayed increased migration ability. E-selectin ligand glycoproteins were isolated from the SW620FUT6 cell line, identified by mass spectrometry, and validated by flow cytometry and Western blot (WB). The most prominent E-selectin ligand we identified was the neural cell adhesion molecule L1 (L1CAM). Previous studies have shown association of L1CAM with metastasis in cancer, thus the novel role as E-selectin counter-receptor contributes to understand the molecular mechanism involving L1CAM in metastasis formation.
Project description:DDX39B is a member of the DEAD box (DDX) RNA helicase family required for nearly all cellular RNA metabolic processes. The exact role and potential molecular mechanism of DDX39B in the progression of human colorectal cancer (CRC) remain to be investigated. In the present study, we demonstrate that DDX39B expression is higher in CRC tissues than in adjacent normal tissues. Gain- and loss-of-function assays revealed that DDX39B facilitates CRC metastasis in vivo and in vitro. Mechanistically, RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) and RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation-sequencing (RIP-seq) showed that DDX39B binds directly to the FUT3 pre-mRNA and upregulates FUT3 expression. Splicing experiments in vitro using a Minigene assay confirmed that DDX39B promotes FUT3 pre-mRNA splicing. A nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA separation assay indicates that DDX39B enhances the mRNA export of FUT3. Upregulation of FUT3 accelerates the fucosylation of TGF?R-I, which activates the TGF? signaling pathway and eventually drives the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program and contributes to CRC progression. These findings not only provide new insight into the role of DDX39B in mRNA splicing and export as well as in tumorigenesis, but also shed light on the effects of aberrant fucosylation on CRC progression.
Project description:Terminal fucosylated motifs of glycoproteins and glycolipid chains are often altered in cancer cells. We investigated the link between fucosylation changes and critical steps in cancer progression: epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and lymph node metastasis.Using mammary cell lines, we demonstrate that during EMT, expression of some fucosylated antigens (e.g.: Lewis Y) is decreased as a result of repression of the fucosyltransferase genes FUT1 and FUT3. Moreover, we identify the fucose-binding bacterial lectin BC2L-C-Nt as a specific probe for the epithelial state.Prolectin (CLEC17A), a human lectin found on lymph node B cells, shares ligand specificities with BC2L-C-Nt. It binds preferentially to epithelial rather than to mesenchymal cells, and microfluidic experiments showed that prolectin behaves as a cell adhesion molecule for epithelial cells. Comparison of paired primary tumors/lymph node metastases revealed an increase of prolectin staining in metastasis and high FUT1 and FUT3 mRNA expression was associated with poor prognosis. Our data suggest that tumor cells invading the lymph nodes and expressing fucosylated motifs associated with the epithelial state could use prolectin as a colonization factor.
Project description:The formation of distant metastasis resulting from vascular dissemination is one of the leading causes of mortality in non?small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This metastatic dissemination initiates with the adhesion of circulating cancer cells to the endothelium. The minimal requirement for the binding of leukocytes to endothelial E?selectins and subsequent transmigration is the epitope of the fucosylated glycan, sialyl Lewis x (sLex), attached to specific cell surface glycoproteins. sLex and its isomer sialyl Lewis a (sLea) have been described in NSCLC, but their functional role in cancer cell adhesion to endothelium is still poorly understood. In this study, it was hypothesised that, similarly to leukocytes, sLe glycans play a role in NSCLC cell adhesion to E?selectins. To assess this, paired tumour and normal lung tissue samples from 18 NSCLC patients were analyzed. Immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry assays demonstrated that tumour tissues exhibited significantly stronger reactivity with anti?sLex/sLea antibody and E?selectin chimera than normal tissues (2.2? and 1.8?fold higher, respectively), as well as a higher immunoreactive score. High sLex/sLea expression was associated with bone metastasis. The overall ?1,3?fucosyltransferase (FUT) activity was increased in tumour tissues, along with the mRNA levels of FUT3, FUT6 and FUT7, whereas FUT4 mRNA expression was decreased. The expression of E?selectin ligands exhibited a weak but significant correlation with the FUT3/FUT4 and FUT7/FUT4 ratios. Additionally, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was identified in only 8 of the 18 tumour tissues; CEA?positive tissues exhibited significantly increased sLex/sLea expression. Tumour tissue areas expressing CEA also expressed sLex/sLea and showed reactivity to E?selectin. Blot rolling assays further demonstrated that CEA immunoprecipitates exhibited sustained adhesive interactions with E?selectin?expressing cells, suggesting CEA acts as a functional protein scaffold for E?selectin ligands in NSCLC. In conclusion, this work provides the first demonstration that sLex/sLea are increased in primary NSCLC due to increased ?1,3?FUT activity. sLex/sLea is carried by CEA and confers the ability for NSCLC cells to bind E?selectins, and is potentially associated with bone metastasis. This study contributes to identifying potential future diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for lung cancer.
Project description:Adhesive interactions between selectins and their ligands play an essential role during cancer extravasation. Fucosylation of these proteins by fucosyltransferases, or FUTs, is critical for their functions. Using quantitative RT-PCR, we demonstrated that FUT4 and FUT7 are the predominant FUTs expressed in hematopoietic cell line, while FUT3 is heavily expressed by multiple cancer cell lines including the prostate cancer cell line MDA PCa2b. Knockdown of FUT3 expression in MDA PCa2b cells by small interference RNA (siRNA) significantly reduced FUT3 expression. Cell-surface sialyl Lewis antigens were largely abolished. Cell adhesion and cell rolling on the blood vessel wall were simulated by perfusing cancer cells through microtubes coated with recombinant human E-selectin. At physiological levels of wall shear stress, the number of flowing cancer cells recruited to the microtube surface was dramatically reduced by FUT3 knockdown. Higher rolling velocity was also observed, which is consistent with reduced E-selectin binding activity. Interestingly, FUT3 siRNA treatment also significantly reduced the cell growth rate. Combined with the novel siRNA delivery platform recently developed in our laboratory, FUT3 siRNA could be a promising conjunctive therapy aiming at reducing the metastatic virulence of circulating epithelial cancer cells.
Project description:Sialyl Lewis x (sLe(x)) and sialyl Lewis a (sLe(a)) glycans are expressed on highly metastatic colon cancer cells. They promote extravasation of cancer cells and tumor angiogenesis via interacting with E-selectin on endothelial cells. Recently, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been noted as a critical phenotypic alteration in metastatic cancer cells. To address the association between sLe(x/a) expression and EMT, we assessed whether sLe(x/a) are highly expressed on colon cancer cells undergoing EMT. Treatment of HT29 and DLD-1 cells with EGF and/or basic FGF (bFGF) induced EMT and significantly increased sLe(x/a) expression resulting in enhanced E-selectin binding activity. The transcript levels of the glycosyltransferase genes ST3GAL1/3/4 and FUT3 were significantly elevated and that of FUT2 was significantly suppressed by the treatment. We provide evidence that ST3GAL1/3/4 and FUT3 are transcriptionally up-regulated by c-Myc with probable involvement of Ser62 phosphorylation, and that FUT2 is transcriptionally down-regulated through the attenuation of CDX2. The contribution of c-Myc and CDX2 to the sLe(x/a) induction was proved to be significant by knockdown or forced expression experiments. Interestingly, the cells undergoing EMT exhibited significantly increased VEGF secretion, which can promote tumor angiogenesis in cooperation with sLe(x/a). Finally, immunohistological study indicated high E-selectin ligand expression on cancer cells undergoing EMT in vivo, supporting their coexistence observed in vitro. These results suggest a significant link between sLe(x/a) expression and EMT in colon cancer cells and a pivotal role of c-Myc and CDX2 in regulating sLe(x/a) expression during EMT.
Project description:Sialyl-Lewis x (sLe<sup>x</sup>, CD15s) is a tetra-saccharide on the surface of leukocytes required for E-selectin-mediated rolling, a prerequisite for leukocytes to migrate out of the blood vessels. Here we show using flow cytometry that sLe<sup>x</sup> expression on basophils and mast cell progenitors depends on fucosyltransferase 6 (FUT6). Using genetic association data analysis and qPCR, the cell type-specific defect was associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the FUT6 gene region (tagged by rs17855739 and rs778798), affecting coding sequence and/or expression level of the mRNA. Heterozygous individuals with one functional FUT6 gene harbor a mixed population of sLe<sup>x+</sup> and sLe<sup>x-</sup> basophils, a phenomenon caused by random monoallelic expression (RME). Microfluidic assay demonstrated FUT6-deficient basophils rolling on E-selectin is severely impaired. FUT6 null alleles carriers exhibit elevated blood basophil counts and a reduced itch sensitivity against insect bites. FUT6-deficiency thus dampens the basophil-mediated allergic response in the periphery, evident also in lower IgE titers and reduced eosinophil counts.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Sda antigen and its biosynthetic enzyme B4GALNT2 are highly expressed in healthy colon but undergo a variable down-regulation in colon cancer. The biosynthesis of the malignancy-associated sialyl Lewis x (sLex) antigen in normal and cancerous colon is mediated by fucosyltransferase 6 (FUT6) and is mutually exclusive from that of Sda. It is thought that the reduced malignancy associated with high B4GALNT2 was due to sLex inhibition. METHODS:We transfected the cell lines SW480 and SW620, derived respectively from a primary tumor and a metastasis of the same patient, with the cDNAs of FUT6 or B4GALNT2, generating cell variants expressing either the sLex or the Sda antigens. Transfectants were analyzed for growth in poor adherence, wound healing, stemness and gene expression profile. RESULTS:B4GALNT2/Sda expression down-regulated all malignancy-associated phenotypes in SW620 but only those associated with stemness in SW480. FUT6/sLex enhanced some malignancy-associated phenotypes in SW620, but had little effect in SW480. The impact on the transcriptome was stronger for FUT6 than for B4GALNT2 and only partially overlapping between SW480 and SW620. CONCLUSIONS:B4GALNT2/Sda inhibits the stemness-associated malignant phenotype, independently of sLex inhibition. The impact of glycosyltransferases on the phenotype and the transcriptome is highly cell-line specific.