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Glycosylation is a global target for androgen control in prostate cancer cells

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jennifer Munkley



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Changes in glycan composition are common in cancer and can play important roles in all of the recognised hallmarks of cancer. We recently identified glycosylation as a global target for androgen control in prostate cancer cells and further defined a set of 8 glycosylation enzymes (GALNT7, ST6GalNAc1, GCNT1, UAP1, PGM3, CSGALNACT1, ST6GAL1 and EDEM3), which are also significantly up-regulated in prostate cancer tissue. These 8 enzymes are under direct control of the androgen receptor (AR) and are linked to the synthesis of important cancer-associated glycans such as sialyl-Tn (sTn), sialyl LewisX (SLeX), O-GlcNAc and chondroitin sulphate. Glycosylation has a key role in many important biological processes in cancer including cell adhesion, migration, interactions with the cell matrix, immune surveillance, cell signalling and cellular metabolism. Our results suggest that alterations in patterns of glycosylation via androgen control might modify some, or all of these processes in prostate cancer. The prostate is an abundant secretor of glycoproteins of all types, and alterations in glycans are, therefore, attractive as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Emerging data on these often overlooked glycan modifications have the potential to improve risk stratification and therapeutic strategies in patients with prostate cancer.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Munkley J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Endocrine Related Cancer

Year: 2017

Volume: 24

Pages: R49-R64

Print publication date: 01/03/2017

Online publication date: 03/02/2017

Acceptance date: 03/02/2017

Date deposited: 07/02/2017

ISSN (print): 1351-0088

ISSN (electronic): 1479-6821

Publisher: BioScientifica


DOI: 10.1530/ERC-16-0569

PubMed id: 28159857


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