Reduction of sialic acid O-acetylation in human colonic mucins in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence

Glycoconj J. 1999 Jun;16(6):307-17. doi: 10.1023/a:1007026314792.


The oligo-O-acetylation of sialic acids found in normal colonic mucins is greatly reduced in colorectal cancer. Mucins prepared from cancer tissue in adenocarcinoma showed this reduction, while normal O-acetylation was detected in resection margin and control cases and total mucin sialic acid content was significantly decreased in cancer vs. control samples. A reduction of the O-acetyl transferase activity catalysing the O-acetylation reaction was also found. A series of cultured human colorectal cell lines derived from the same premalignant adenomatous line, and representative of the adenoma-carcinoma sequence were examined and revealed a depletion of oligo-O-acetylation in the original diploid premalignant line, re-expression in a further premalignant line and reduction in malignant mucinous and adenocarcinoma cell lines. Reduction of sialic acid O-acetylation appears as an early event in the process of malignant transformation in human colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / enzymology
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Epitopes
  • Humans
  • Mucins / chemistry
  • Mucins / metabolism*
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / chemistry
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Epitopes
  • Mucins
  • Acetyltransferases
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid