World journal of gastroenterology

Inhibition of KL-6/MUC1 glycosylation limits aggressive progression of pancreatic cancer.

PMID 25232251


To evaluate the significance of KL-6/MUC1 (a type of MUC1) glycosylation in pancreatic cancer progression. KL-6/MUC1 expression was detected by immunohistochemistry in 48 patients with pancreatic duct cell carcinoma. The N-/O-glycosylation inhibitors (tunicamycin and benzyl-N-acetyl-α-galactosaminide) were then used to interfere with KL-6/MUC1 glycosylation in two pancreatic carcinoma cell lines, and the effects on KL-6/MUC1 expression, and cell adhesion and invasion were determined. In addition, protein expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers, E-cadherin and vimentin, were evaluated in cells after treatment with glycosylation inhibitors. Overexpression of KL-6/MUC1 was found in all pancreatic cancer tissues, but not in the surrounding normal pancreatic tissues. The expression profile of KL-6/MUC1 was significantly decreased after treatment with the inhibitors. The adhesion and invasive ability of cancer cells were significantly decreased after drug treatment, and increased E-cadherin and decreased vimentin expression were found. KL-6/MUC1 glycosylation is involved in pancreatic cancer metastasis and invasion. Therapeutic strategies which target this may help control the aggressive behavior of pancreatic cancer cells.