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      Protein N-glycosylation in oral cancer: Dysregulated cellular networks among DPAGT1, E-cadherin adhesion and canonical Wnt signaling

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          Abstract

          N-Linked glycosylation (N-glycosylation) of proteins has long been associated with oncogenesis, but not until recently have the molecular mechanisms underlying this relationship begun to be unraveled. Here, we review studies describing how dysregulation of the N-glycosylation-regulating gene, DPAGT1, drives oral cancer. DPAGT1 encodes the first and rate-limiting enzyme in the assembly of the lipid-linked oligosaccharide precursor in the endoplasmic reticulum and thus mediates N-glycosylation of many cancer-related proteins. DPAGT1 controls N-glycosylation of E-cadherin, the major epithelial cell–cell adhesion receptor and a tumor suppressor, thereby affecting intercellular adhesion and cytoskeletal dynamics. DPAGT1 also regulates and is regulated by Wnt/β-catenin signaling, impacting the balance between proliferation and adhesion in homeostatic tissues. Thus, aberrant induction of DPAGT1 promotes a positive feedback network with Wnt/β-catenin that represses E-cadherin-based adhesion and drives tumorigenic phenotypes. Further, modification of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) with N-glycans is known to control their surface presentation via the galectin lattice, and thus increased DPAGT1 expression likely contributes to abnormal activation of RTKs in oral cancer. Collectively, these studies suggest that dysregulation of the DPAGT1/Wnt/E-cadherin network underlies the etiology and pathogenesis of oral cancer.

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          The epithelial-mesenchymal transition generates cells with properties of stem cells.

          The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key developmental program that is often activated during cancer invasion and metastasis. We here report that the induction of an EMT in immortalized human mammary epithelial cells (HMLEs) results in the acquisition of mesenchymal traits and in the expression of stem-cell markers. Furthermore, we show that those cells have an increased ability to form mammospheres, a property associated with mammary epithelial stem cells. Independent of this, stem cell-like cells isolated from HMLE cultures form mammospheres and express markers similar to those of HMLEs that have undergone an EMT. Moreover, stem-like cells isolated either from mouse or human mammary glands or mammary carcinomas express EMT markers. Finally, transformed human mammary epithelial cells that have undergone an EMT form mammospheres, soft agar colonies, and tumors more efficiently. These findings illustrate a direct link between the EMT and the gain of epithelial stem cell properties.
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            Wnt/beta-catenin signaling: components, mechanisms, and diseases.

            Signaling by the Wnt family of secreted glycolipoproteins via the transcriptional coactivator beta-catenin controls embryonic development and adult homeostasis. Here we review recent progress in this so-called canonical Wnt signaling pathway. We discuss Wnt ligands, agonists, and antagonists, and their interactions with Wnt receptors. We also dissect critical events that regulate beta-catenin stability, from Wnt receptors to the cytoplasmic beta-catenin destruction complex, and nuclear machinery that mediates beta-catenin-dependent transcription. Finally, we highlight some key aspects of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in human diseases including congenital malformations, cancer, and osteoporosis, and discuss potential therapeutic implications.
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              Transitions between epithelial and mesenchymal states: acquisition of malignant and stem cell traits.

              Transitions between epithelial and mesenchymal states have crucial roles in embryonic development. Emerging data suggest a role for these processes in regulating cellular plasticity in normal adult tissues and in tumours, where they can generate multiple, distinct cellular subpopulations contributing to intratumoural heterogeneity. Some of these subpopulations may exhibit more differentiated features, whereas others have characteristics of stem cells. Owing to the importance of these tumour-associated phenotypes in metastasis and cancer-related mortality, targeting the products of such cellular plasticity is an attractive but challenging approach that is likely to lead to improved clinical management of cancer patients.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Glycobiology
                Glycobiology
                glycob
                glycob
                Glycobiology
                Oxford University Press
                0959-6658
                1460-2423
                July 2014
                17 April 2014
                17 April 2014
                : 24
                : 7
                : 579-591
                Affiliations
                [2 ]Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine , Boston, MA, USA
                [3 ]Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Boston University School of Dental Medicine , Boston, MA, USA
                Author notes
                [1 ]To whom correspondence should be addressed: Tel: +1-617-638-4859; Fax: +1-617-414-1041; e-mail: mkukuruz@ 123456bu.edu
                Article
                cwu031
                10.1093/glycob/cwu031
                4038253
                24742667
                © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Categories
                Review

                Biochemistry

                wnt signaling, cancer, dpagt1, e-cadherin, n-glycosylation

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