FUT8 Alpha-(1,6)-Fucosyltransferase in Cancer

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 5;22(1):455. doi: 10.3390/ijms22010455.


Aberrant glycosylation is a universal feature of cancer cells that can impact all steps in tumour progression from malignant transformation to metastasis and immune evasion. One key change in tumour glycosylation is altered core fucosylation. Core fucosylation is driven by fucosyltransferase 8 (FUT8), which catalyses the addition of α1,6-fucose to the innermost GlcNAc residue of N-glycans. FUT8 is frequently upregulated in cancer, and plays a critical role in immune evasion, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), and the regulation of TGF-β, EGF, α3β1 integrin and E-Cadherin. Here, we summarise the role of FUT8 in various cancers (including lung, liver, colorectal, ovarian, prostate, breast, melanoma, thyroid, and pancreatic), discuss the potential mechanisms involved, and outline opportunities to exploit FUT8 as a critical factor in cancer therapeutics in the future.

Keywords: cancer; fucosylation; fut8; glycosylation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fucose / metabolism
  • Fucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism


  • Polysaccharides
  • Fucose
  • Fucosyltransferases
  • Glycoprotein 6-alpha-L-fucosyltransferase