O-GlcNAcylation is an O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) moiety linked to the serine or threonine residues in proteins. O-GlcNAcylation is a dynamic post-translational modification involved in a wide range of biological processes and diseases such as cancer. This modification can increase and decrease the activity of enzymes as well as interfere with protein stability and interaction. The modulatory capacity of O-GlcNAcylation, as well as protein phosphorylation, is of paramount importance in the regulation of metabolism and intracellular signaling of tumor cells. Thus, understanding the regulation of O-GlcNAcylation in tumor cells and their difference compared to non-tumor cells may elucidate new mechanisms related to tumor generation and development, could provide a new marker to diagnosis and prognosis in patients with cancer and indicate a new target to cancer chemotherapy.
Keywords: O-GlcNAc; O-GlcNAcylation; cancer; metabolism; metastasis; review; tumor biology; tumorigenesis.