An N-glycan Structure Correlates With Pulmonary Metastatic Ability of Cancer Cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Feb 17;340(3):829-35. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.12.072. Epub 2005 Dec 20.


N-Glycan structures on the surface of cancer cells have diverse structures and play significant roles in metastatic process. However, little is known about their roles in organ-selective metastasis. Our study revealed that an alpha1,6-fucosylated biantennary N-glycan structure designated A2G2F is characteristic of lungs, with far more abundant expression in normal human and murine lungs than in other organs. In this study, we further examined the role of A2G2F in pulmonary metastasis. We stained metastatic cancers by alpha1,6-fucose-specific Lens culinaris agglutinin lectin and revealed that pulmonary metastatic nodules more abundantly expressed alpha1,6-fucosylated N-glycans than hepatic metastatic nodules from common primary cancers. The most specific alpha1,6-fucosylated N-glycan structure in pulmonary metastatic cancer was identified to be A2G2F. Using a B16 melanoma cell metastasis model, we showed that A2G2F-rich B16 cells formed more pulmonary metastatic nodules than A2G2F-poor cells. Our results suggest that A2G2F plays a critical role in pulmonary metastasis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotinylation
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fucose / chemistry
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lectins / chemistry
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Melanoma, Experimental
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Chemical
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Plant Lectins / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry*
  • Prognosis


  • Lectins
  • Plant Lectins
  • Polysaccharides
  • lentil lectin
  • Fucose