Discovery of specific metastasis-related N-glycan alterations in epithelial ovarian cancer based on quantitative glycomics.
ABSTRACT: Generally, most of ovarian cancer cannot be detected until large scale and remote metastasis occurs, which is the major cause of high mortality in ovarian cancer. Therefore, it is urgent to discover metastasis-related biomarkers for the detection of ovarian cancer in its occult metastasis stage. Altered glycosylation is a universal feature of malignancy and certain types of glycan structures are well-known markers for tumor progressions. Thus, this study aimed to reveal specific changes of N-glycans in the secretome of the metastatic ovarian cancer. We employed a quantitative glycomics approach based on metabolic stable isotope labeling to compare the differential N-glycosylation of secretome between an ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3 and its high metastatic derivative SKOV3-ip. Intriguingly, among total 17 N-glycans identified, the N-glycans with bisecting GlcNAc were all significantly decreased in SKOV3-ip in comparison to SKOV3. This alteration in bisecting GlcNAc glycoforms as well as its corresponding association with ovarian cancer metastatic behavior was further validated at the glycotransferase level with multiple techniques including real-time PCR, western blotting, transwell assay, lectin blotting and immunohistochemistry analysis. This study illustrated metastasis-related N-glycan alterations in ovarian cancer secretome in vitro for the first time, which is a valuable source for biomarker discovery as well. Moreover, N-glycans with bisecting GlcNAc shed light on the detection of ovarian cancer in early peritoneal metastasis stage which may accordingly improve the prognosis of ovarian cancer patients.
Project description:Bisecting GlcNAc on N-glycoproteins is described in E-cadherin-, EGF-, Wnt- and integrin- cancer-associated signaling pathways. However, the mechanisms regulating bisecting GlcNAc expression are not clear. Bisecting GlcNAc is attached to N-glycans through beta 1-4 N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase III (MGAT3), which is encoded by two exons flanked by high-density CpG islands. Despite a recently described correlation of MGAT3 and bisecting GlcNAc in ovarian cancer cells, it remains unknown whether DNA methylation is causative for the presence of bisecting GlcNAc. Here, we narrow down the regulatory genomic region and show that reconstitution of MGAT3 expression with 5-Aza coincides with reduced DNA methylation at the MGAT3 transcription start site. The presence of bisecting GlcNAc on released N-glycans was detected by mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-qTOF-MS/MS) in serous ovarian cancer cells upon DNA methyltransferase inhibition. The regulatory impact of DNA methylation on MGAT3 was further evaluated in 18 TCGA cancer types (n = 6118 samples) and the results indicate an improved overall survival in patients with reduced MGAT3 expression, thereby identifying long-term survivors of high-grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSOC). Epigenetic activation of MGAT3 was also confirmed in basal-like breast cancers sharing similar molecular and genetic features with HGSOC. These results provide novel insights into the epigenetic regulation of MGAT3/bisecting GlcNAc and demonstrate the importance of N-glycosylation in cancer progression.
Project description:In the era of precision medicine, the tailoring of cancer treatment is increasingly important as we transition from organ-based diagnosis towards a more comprehensive and patient-centric molecular diagnosis. This is particularly the case for high-grade serous adenocarcinomas of the ovary and peritoneum, which are commonly diagnosed at an advanced stage, and collectively treated and managed similarly. We characterized the N- and O-glycome of serous ovarian (OC) and peritoneal cancer (PC) tissues using PGC-LC-ESI-IT-MS/MS profiling and validated the discriminatory glycans and their corresponding glyco-gene expression levels using cell lines and transcriptomic data from 232 patients. Overall, the N- and O-glycan repertoires of both cancer types were found to comprise mostly of ?2,6-sialylated glycan structures, with the majority of N-glycans displaying the biantennary mono- and disialylation as well as bisecting-type biantennary glycans. The MS profiling by PGC-LC also revealed several glycan structural isomers that corresponded to LacdiNAc-type (GalNAc?1-4GlcNAc) motifs that were unique to the serous ovarian cancers and that correlated with elevated gene expression of B4GALNT3 and B4GALNT4 in patients with serous cancer. Statistical evaluation of the discriminatory glycans also revealed 13 N- and 3 O-glycans (P < 0.05) that significantly discriminated tumour-sampling sites, with LacdiNAc-type N-glycans (m/z 1205.02- and m/z 1059.42- ) being associated with ovarian-derived cancer tissue and bisecting GlcNAc-type (m/z 994.92- ) and branched N-glycans (m/z 1294.02- and m/z 1148.42- ) upregulated at the metastatic sites. Hence, we demonstrate for the first time that OC and PC display distinct molecular signatures at both their glycomic and transcriptomic levels. These signatures may have potential utility for the development of accurate diagnosis and personalized treatments.
Project description:The N-glycans of mammalian glycoproteins vary greatly in structure, and the biological importance of these variations is mostly unknown. It is widely acknowledged that the bisecting N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) structure, a ?1,4-linked GlcNAc attached to the core ?-mannose residue, represents a special type of N-glycosylated modification, and it has been reported to be involved in various biological processes, such as cell adhesion, fertilization and fetal development, neuritogenesis, and tumor development. In particular, the occurrence of N-glycans with a bisecting GlcNAc modification on proteins has been proven, with many implications for immune biology. Due to the essential functions of bisecting GlcNAc structures, analytical approaches to this modification are highly required. The traditional approach that has been used for bisecting GlcNAc determinations is based on the lectin recognition of Phaseolus vulgaris erythroagglutinin (PHA-E); however, poor binding specificity hinders the application of this method. With the development of mass spectrometry (MS) with high resolution and improved sensitivity and accuracy, MS-based glycomic analysis has provided precise characterization and quantification for glycosylation modification. In this review, we first provide an overview of the bisecting GlcNAc structure and its biological importance in neurological systems, immune tolerance, immunoglobulin G (IgG), and tumor metastasis and development and then summarize approaches to its determination by MS for performing precise functional studies. This review is valuable for those readers who are interested in the importance of bisecting GlcNAc in cell biology.
Project description:Glycosylation, the most prevalent and diverse post-translational modification of protein, plays crucial biological roles in many physiological and pathological events. Alteration of N-glycan has been detected during breast cancer progression. Among the specific N-glycan structures, bisecting N-Acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is a ?1,4-linked GlcNAc attached to the core ?-mannose residue, and is catalyzed by glycosyltransferase MGAT3. Bisecting GlcNAc levels were commonly dysregulated in different types of cancer. In this study, we utilized mass spectrometry and lectin microarray analysis to investigate aberrant N-glycans in breast cancer cells. Our data showed the decreased levels of bisecting GlcNAc and down-regulated expression of MGAT3 in breast cancer cells than normal epithelial cells. Using PHA-E (a plant lectin recognizing and combining bisecting GlcNAc) based enrichment coupled with nanoLC-MS/MS, we analyzed the glycoproteins bearing bisecting GlcNAc in various breast cancer cells. Among the differentially expressed glycoproteins, levels of bisecting GlcNAc on EGFR were significantly decreased in breast cancer cells, confirmed by immunostaining and immunoprecipitation. We overexpressed MGAT3 in breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells, and overexpression of MGAT3 significantly enhanced the bisecting N-GlcNAc on EGFR and suppressed the EGFR/Erk signaling, which further resulted in the reduction of migratory ability, cell proliferation, and clonal formation. Taken together, we conclude that bisecting N-GlcNAc on EGFR inhibits malignant phenotype of breast cancer via down-regulation of EGFR/Erk signaling.
Project description:N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III (GnT-III) is known to catalyze N-glycan "bisection" and thereby modulate the formation of highly branched complex structures within the Golgi apparatus. While active, it inhibits the action of other GlcNAc transferases such as GnT-IV and GnT-V. Moreover, GnT-III is considered as an inhibitor of the metastatic potential of cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. However, the effects of GnT-III may be more diverse and depend on the cellular context. We describe the detailed glycomic analysis of the effect of GnT-III overexpression in WM266-4-GnT-III metastatic melanoma cells. We used MALDI-TOF and ESI-ion-trap-MS/MS together with HILIC-HPLC of 2-AA labeled N-glycans to study the N-glycome of membrane-attached and secreted proteins. We found that the overexpression of GnT-III in melanoma leads to the modification of a broad range of N-glycan types by the introduction of the "bisecting" GlcNAc residue with highly branched complex structures among them. The presence of these unusual complex N-glycans resulted in stronger interactions of cellular glycoproteins with the PHA-L. Based on the data presented here we conclude that elevated activity of GnT-III in cancer cells does not necessarily lead to a total abrogation of the formation of highly branched glycans. In addition, the modification of pre-existing N-glycans by the introduction of "bisecting" GlcNAc can modulate their capacity to interact with carbohydrate-binding proteins such as plant lectins. Our results suggest further studies on the biological function of "bisected" oligosaccharides in cancer cell biology and their interactions with carbohydrate-binding proteins.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is still a major gynecologic problem with poor 5 year survival rate due to distance metastases, despite routine surgery and chemotherapy. The precise underlying molecular mechanisms that trigger EOC migration and invasion are unclear. Recent studies suggest that the expression of microRNAs is widely dysregulated in ovarian cancer; and that they have evolved into tumorigenic processes, including cell proliferation, apoptosis and motility. METHODS: The expression of miR-124 was assessed in clinical ovarian cancer specimens and cell lines using miRNA qRTPCR. The function of miR-124 on cell migration and invasion was confirmed in vitro through wound healing assay and transwell assay. Luciferase reporter assay was used to confirm target associations. RESULTS: We showed that miR-124 is down-regulated in ovarian cancer specimens as well as in cell lines; and that low-level expression of miR-124 is much lower in highly metastatic ovarian cancer cells and tissues. Meantime, overexpression of miR-124 dramatically inhibits the motility of ovarian cancer cells in vitro and substantially suppresses the protein expression of SphK1, reported as an invasion and metastasis-related gene in human cancers, whose expression is markedly increased in both ovarian cancer cell lines and clinical samples, particularly in two highly metastasis cells, SKOV3-ip and HO8910pm as well as metastatic ovarian tumor tissues. Furthermore, SphK1 is identified as a direct target of miR-124, and knock-down of SphK1 in ovarian cancer cells, SKOV3-ip and HO8910pm, could mimic the inhibition of migration and invasion by miR-124, while re-introduction of SphK1 abrogates the suppression of motility and invasiveness induced by miR-124 in both cell lines. CONCLUSIONS: Our studies suggest a protective role of miR-124 in inhibition of migration and invasion in the molecular etiology of ovarian cancer, and a potentially novel application of miR-124 in the regulation of migration and invasion in EOC.
Project description:Exosomes consist of vesicles that are secreted by several human cells, including tumor cells and neurons, and they are found in several biological fluids. Exosomes have characteristic protein and lipid composition, however, the results concerning glycoprotein composition and glycosylation are scarce. Here, protein glycosylation of exosomes from ovarian carcinoma SKOV3 cells has been studied by lectin blotting, NP-HPLC analysis of 2-aminobenzamide labeled glycans and mass spectrometry. An abundant sialoglycoprotein was found enriched in exosomes and it was identified by peptide mass fingerprinting and immunoblot as the galectin-3-binding protein (LGALS3BP). Exosomes were found to contain predominantly complex glycans of the di-, tri-, and tetraantennary type with or without proximal fucose and also high mannose glycans. Diantennary glycans containing bisecting N-acetylglucosamine were also detected. This work provides detailed information about glycoprotein and N-glycan composition of exosomes from ovarian cancer cells, furthermore it opens novel perspectives to further explore the functional role of glycans in the biology of exosomes.
Project description:The branching of complex N-glycans attached to growth factor receptors promotes tumor progression by prolonging growth factor signaling. The addition of the bisecting GlcNAc to complex N-glycans by Mgat3 has varying effects on cell adhesion, cell migration, and hepatoma formation. Here, we show that Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing Mgat3 and the polyoma middle T (PyMT) antigen have reduced cell proliferation and growth factor signaling dependent on a galectin lattice. The Mgat3 gene is not expressed in virgin mammary gland but is upregulated during lactation and is expressed in mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)/PyMT tumors. Mice lacking Mgat3 that cannot transfer the bisecting GlcNAc to N-glycans acquire PyMT-induced mammary tumors more rapidly and have an increased tumor burden, increased migration of tumor cells, and increased early metastasis to lung. Tumors and tumor-derived cells lacking Mgat3 exhibit enhanced signaling through the Ras pathway and reduced amounts of functionally glycosylated alpha-dystroglycan. Constitutive overexpression of an MMTV/Mgat3 transgene inhibits early mammary tumor development and tumor cell migration. Thus, the addition of the bisecting GlcNAc to complex N-glycans of mammary tumor cell glycoprotein receptors is a cell autonomous mechanism serving to retard tumor progression by reducing growth factor signaling.
Project description:Epithelial ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer in women worldwide bearing the highest mortality rate among all gynecological cancers. Cell membrane glycans mediate various cellular processes such as cell signaling and become altered during carcinogenesis. The extent to which glycosylation changes are influenced by aberrant regulation of gene expression is nearly unknown for ovarian cancer and remains crucial in understanding the development and progression of this disease. To address this effect, we analyzed the membrane glycosylation of non-cancerous ovarian surface epithelial (HOSE 6.3 and HOSE 17.1) and serous ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV 3, IGROV1, A2780, and OVCAR 3), the most common histotype among epithelial ovarian cancers. N-glycans were released from membrane glycoproteins by PNGase F and analyzed using nano-liquid chromatography on porous graphitized carbon and negative-ion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Glycan structures were characterized based on their molecular masses and tandem MS fragmentation patterns. We identified characteristic glycan features that were unique to the ovarian cancer membrane proteins, namely the "bisecting N-acetyl-glucosamine" type N-glycans, increased levels of ? 2-6 sialylated N-glycans and "N,N'-diacetyl-lactosamine" type N-glycans. These N-glycan changes were verified by examining gene transcript levels of the enzymes specific for their synthesis (MGAT3, ST6GAL1, and B4GALNT3) using qRT-PCR. We further evaluated the potential epigenetic influence on MGAT3 expression by treating the cell lines with 5-azacytidine, a DNA methylation inhibitor. For the first time, we provide evidence that MGAT3 expression may be epigenetically regulated by DNA hypomethylation, leading to the synthesis of the unique "bisecting GlcNAc" type N-glycans on the membrane proteins of ovarian cancer cells. Linking the observation of specific N-glycan substructures and their complex association with epigenetic programming of their associated synthetic enzymes in ovarian cancer could potentially be used for the development of novel anti-glycan drug targets and clinical diagnostic tools.
Project description:The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process plays a key role in many biological processes, including tissue fibrosis, metastatic diseases, and cancer progression. EMT can be induced by certain factors, notably hypoxia, in the tumor microenvironment. Aberrant levels of certain N-glycans is associated with cancer progression. We used an integrated strategy (mass spectrometry in combination with lectin microarray analysis) to elucidate aberrant glycosylation in a hypoxia-induced EMT model using breast cancer cell lines MCF7 and MDA-MB-231. The model showed reduced levels of bisecting GlcNAc structures, and downregulated expression of the corresponding glycosyltransferase MGAT3. MGAT3 overexpression in MCF7 suppressed cell migration, proliferation, colony formation, expression of EMT markers, and AKT signaling pathway, whereas MGAT3 knockdown (shRNA silencing) had opposite effects. Our findings clearly demonstrate the functional role (and effects of dysregulation) of bisecting GlcNAc structures in hypoxia-induced EMT, and provide a useful basis for further detailed studies of physiological functions of these structures in breast cancer.