β-1,3-N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferase 8 (β3GnT8) is a key enzyme that catalyzes the formation of polylactosamine glycan structures by transferring GlcNAc to tetra-antennary β1-6-branched N-glycans, and it has been reported to participate in tumor invasion and metastasis by regulating the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cluster of differentiation 147 (CD147) and polylactosamine. By contrast, the role of transcription factor c-Jun in cell cycle progression has been well established. c-Jun has an important role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis. However, the precise molecular mechanisms by which c-Jun regulates these processes in colorectal carcinoma cells are not fully elucidated. In the present study, c-Jun had a significant effect on the invasive and migratory abilities of SW480 and LoVo cells. Additionally, overexpression of c-Jun was able to increase the expression of β3GnT8, MMPs, CD147 and polylactosamine. Similarly, knockdown of c-Jun was able to decrease the expression of β3GnT8, MMPs, CD147 and polylactosamine. These results suggest that c-Jun is able to regulate colorectal carcinoma cell invasion and metastasis via β3GnT8. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay indicated that c-Jun is able to bind directly to the promoter regions of β3GnT8 in SW480 and LoVo cells. This leads to transcriptional activation of β3GnT8, which in turn regulates the expression of tumor invasion and metastasis-associated genes. The results of the present study demonstrate a novel mechanism underlying colorectal carcinoma cell invasion and metastasis, where β3GnT8 is transcriptionally activated via c-Jun binding to its promoter.
Keywords: colorectal carcinoma cells; metastasis; polylactosamine; transcription factor c-Jun; β-1,3-N-acetylglucosaminylt-ransferase 8.