Genome wide association studies have implicated intestinal barrier function genes in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. One of such loci CDH1, encoding E-cadherin, a transmembrane glycoprotein with known tumor suppressor functions, is also linked to the susceptibility to colorectal cancer. Loss of membranous E-cadherin expression is common in both colitis and cancer. We have recently demonstrated that mesalamine (5-ASA); the anti-inflammatory drug used to treat ulcerative colitis, induces membranous expression of E-cadherin and increases intercellular adhesion. Using colorectal cancer epithelial cells with aberrant E-cadherin expression, we investigated the mechanism underlying such an effect of 5-ASA. Post-translational modification of E-cadherin glycosylation was analyzed by biotin/streptavidin detection of sialylated glycoproteins. GnT-III (N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III) expression was assessed by qRT-PCR, Western blot and immunofluorescence. GnT-III activity was analyzed by reactivity with E-4/L-4-PHA. Expression, localization and interaction of E-cadherin and β-catenin were analyzed by Western blot, immunocytochemistry and RNA interference. 5-ASA activity modulated E-cadherin glycosylation and increased both mRNA and protein levels of GnT-III and its activity as detected by increased E4-lectin reactivity. Intestinal APC(Min) polyps in mice showed low expression of GnT-III and 5-ASA was effective in increasing its expression. The data demonstrated that remodeling of glycans by GnT-III mediated bisect glycosylation, contributes to the membranous retention of E-cadherin by 5-ASA; facilitating intercellular adhesion. Induction of membranous expression of E-cadherin by 5-ASA is a novel mechanism for mucosal healing in colitis that might impede tumor progression by modulation of GnT-III expression.
Keywords: 5-ASA; AJ; CRC; E-cadherin; Glycosylation; GnT-III; IBD; N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-III; PAK1; UC; Ulcerative colitis; adherens junction; colorectal cancer; inflammatory bowel diseases; p21 activated kinase 1; ulcerative colitis.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.