Molecular cancer research : MCR

Beta1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase III enhances malignant phenotypes of colon cancer cells.

PMID 17579116


The enzyme beta1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase III (beta4GalNAc-T3) exhibits in vitro activity of synthesizing N,N'-diacetyllactosediamine, GalNAcbeta1,4GlcNAc. Here, we investigate the expression of beta4GalNAc-T3 in primary colon tumors and the effects of its overexpression on HCT116 colon cancer cells. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR showed that the expression of beta4GalNAc-T3 was up-regulated in 72.5% (n = 40) of primary colon tumors compared with their normal counterparts. beta4GalNAc-T3 overexpression resulted in enhanced cell-extracellular matrix adhesion, migration, anchorage-independent cell growth, and invasion of colon cancer cells. Moreover, beta4GalNAc-T3 overexpression increased tumor growth and metastasis and decreased survival of tumor-bearing nude mice. beta4GalNAc-T3 overexpression showed increased tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase and paxillin Y118 as well as increased extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation. These results suggest that up-regulation of beta4GalNAc-T3 may play a critical role in promoting tumor malignancy and that integrin and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways could be involved in the underlying mechanism.