The bisecting GlcNAc in cell growth control and tumor progression.


Miwa HE, Song Y, Alvarez R, Cummings RD, Stanley P. The bisecting GlcNAc in cell growth control and tumor progression. Glycoconj J. 2012;29 (8-9) :609-18.

Date Published:

2012 Dec


The bisecting GlcNAc is transferred to the core mannose residue of complex or hybrid N-glycans on glycoproteins by the β1,4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III (GlcNAcT-III) or MGAT3. The addition of the bisecting GlcNAc confers unique lectin recognition properties to N-glycans. Thus, LEC10 gain-of-function Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells selected for the acquisition of ricin resistance, carry N-glycans with a bisecting GlcNAc, which enhances the binding of the erythroagglutinin E-PHA, but reduces the binding of ricin and galectins-1, -3 and -8. The altered interaction with galactose-binding lectins suggests that the bisecting GlcNAc affects N-glycan conformation. LEC10 mutants expressing polyoma middle T antigen (PyMT) exhibit reduced growth factor signaling. Furthermore, PyMT-induced mammary tumors lacking MGAT3, progress more rapidly than tumors with the bisecting GlcNAc on N-glycans of cell surface glycoproteins. In recent years, evidence for a new paradigm of cell growth control has emerged involving regulation of cell surface residency of growth factor and cytokine receptors via interactions and cross-linking of their branched N-glycans with a lattice of galectin(s). Specific cross-linking of glycoprotein receptors in the lattice regulates their endocytosis, leading to effects on growth factor-induced signaling. This review will describe evidence that the bisecting GlcNAc of N-glycans regulates cellular signaling and tumor progression, apparently through modulating N-glycan/galectin interactions.