Aberrant expression of glycoconjugates occurs during malignant transformation of cancer cells. Overexpression of sialoglycoconjugates in particular may play an important role in the progression, i.e., invasion or metastasis, of cancer. Various types of sialoglycoconjugates have been investigated to clarify their biological significance and clinical utility in diagnosing and treating colorectal cancer. This review focuses specifically on expression of mucin (MUC) 1 and it suggests that MUC1 with the specific structure of a sialo-oligosaccharide has biological significance in determining the metastatic potential of colorectal cancer cells and clinicopathological utility in evaluating the effectiveness of treatments and the prognosis for patients with colorectal cancer. Further studies are expected to contribute to the expanded use of cancer-associated sialoglycoconjugates in cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Invasion; Metastasis; Mucin 1; Sialic acid; Sialoglycoconjugates.