Engagement of I-branching {beta}-1, 6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 2 in breast cancer metastasis and TGF-{beta} signaling

Haijun Zhang, Fanyan Meng, Sherwin Wu, Bas Kreike, Seema Sethi, Wei Chen, Fred R Miller, Guojun Wu
Cancer Research 2011 July 15, 71 (14): 4846-56
In this study, we have showed that GCNT2, a gene-encoding glucosaminyl (N-acetyl) transferase 2, I-branching enzyme, is overexpressed in highly metastatic breast cancer cell lines of human and mouse origin and basal-like breast tumor samples. GCNT2 expression is also significantly correlated to the metastatic phenotype in breast tumor samples. Functional studies showed that ectopic expression of GCNT2 enhances cell detachment, adhesion to endothelial cells, cell migration and invasion in vitro, and lung metastasis of breast cancer cells in vivo. Knockdown of GCNT2 expression decreases cell migration and invasion in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo. We have further shown the involvement of GCNT2 in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Specifically, the expression of E-cadherin is significantly changed upon GCNT2 expression at the protein level but not at the RNA level. Moreover, we have shown that GCNT2 is a direct target of the TGF-β-smad pathway and that change in GCNT2 expression modulates EMT induced by TGF-β1 treatment. Finally, we have shown that diminution of the glycosyltransferase activity of I-branching β-1, 6-N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase 2 (GCNT2) abrogates its cell migration and invasion-promoting function and synergistic effect with TGF-β to induce EMT. Our study for the first time showed that GCNT2 is a novel gene contributing to breast cancer metastasis with preferential expression in basal-like breast cancer. Moreover, we discovered that involvement of GCNT2 in EMT and TGF-β signaling, and further glycosylation modification of E-cadherin by GCNT2, are the underlying integrative mechanisms for breast cancer metastasis, implying that blocking TGF-β/GCNT2 signaling is a promising approach for targeting metastatic breast cancer.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"