O-GlcNAcylation is a novel regulator of lung and colon cancer malignancy

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Apr;1812(4):514-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2011.01.009. Epub 2011 Jan 19.


O-GlcNAc is a monosaccharide attached to serine or threonine hydroxyl moieties on numerous nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins; O-GlcNAcylation is dynamically regulated by O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAcase (OGA). Although recent studies have shown that O-GlcNAcylation plays essential roles in breast cancer progression, it is also necessary to know whether O-GlcNAcylation is involved in other types of human cancer. In this study, O-GlcNAcylation levels and the expressions of OGT and OGA in human lung and colon cancer tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry analysis. We found that O-GlcNAcylation as well as OGT expression was significantly elevated in the cancer tissues compared with that in the corresponding adjacent tissues. Additionally, the roles of O-GlcNAcylation in the malignancy of lung and colon cancer were investigated in vitro. The results showed that O-GlcNAcylation markedly enhanced the anchorage-independent growth of lung and colon cancer cells; O-GlcNAcylation could also enhance lung and colon cancer invasion in a context-dependent manner. All together, this study suggests that O-GlcNAcylation might play important roles in lung and colon cancer formation and progression, and may be a valuable target for diagnosis and therapy of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Acetylglucosamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Acetylglucosamine / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colonic Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases / genetics
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidases / genetics
  • beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidases / metabolism*


  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • O-GlcNAc transferase
  • hexosaminidase C
  • beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidases
  • Acetylglucosamine