O-GlcNAcylation promotes colorectal cancer progression by regulating protein stability and potential catcinogenic function of DDX5

J Cell Mol Med. 2019 Feb;23(2):1354-1362. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.14038. Epub 2018 Nov 28.


The RNA helicase p68 (DDX5), a key player in RNA metabolism, belongs to the DEAD box family and is involved in the development of colorectal cancer. Here, we found both DDX5 and O-GlcNAcylation are up-regulated in colorectal cancer. In addition, DDX5 protein level is significantly positively correlated with the expression of O-GlcNAcylation. Although it was known DDX5 protein could be regulated by post-translational modification (PTM), how O-GlcNAcylation modification regulated of DDX5 remains unclear. Here we show that DDX5 interacts directly with OGT in the SW480 cell line, which is the only known enzyme that catalyses O-GlcNAcylation in humans. Meanwhile, O-GlcNAcylation could promote DDX5 protein stability. The OGT-DDX5 axis affects colorectal cancer progression mainly by regulating activation of the AKT/mTOR signalling pathway. Taken together, these results indicated that OGT-mediated O-GlcNAcylation stabilizes DDX5, promoting activation of the AKT/mTOR signalling pathway, thus accelerating colorectal cancer progression. This study not only reveals the novel functional of O-GlcNAcylation in regulating DDX5, but also reveals the carcinogenic effect of the OGT-DDX5 axis in colorectal cancer.

Keywords: AKT; Colorectal cancer; DDX5; O-GlcNAcylation; mTOR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / chemistry*
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / genetics
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Protein Stability
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • MTOR protein, human
  • AKT1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Ddx5 protein, human
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases