α2,6 Sialylation mediated by ST6GAL1 promotes glioblastoma growth

Academic Article

Abstract

  • One of the least-investigated areas of brain pathology research is glycosylation, which is a critical regulator of cell surface protein structure and function. β-Galactoside α2,6-sialyltransferase (ST6GAL1) is the primary enzyme that α2,6 sialylates N-glycosylated proteins destined for the plasma membrane or secretion, thereby modulating cell signaling and behavior. We demonstrate a potentially novel, protumorigenic role for α2,6 sialylation and ST6GAL1 in the deadly brain tumor glioblastoma (GBM). GBM cells with high α2,6 sialylation exhibited increased in vitro growth and self-renewal capacity and decreased mouse survival when orthotopically injected. α2,6 Sialylation was regulated by ST6GAL1 in GBM, and ST6GAL1 was elevated in brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs). Knockdown of ST6GAL1 in BTICs decreased in vitro growth, self-renewal capacity, and tumorigenic potential. ST6GAL1 regulates levels of the known BTIC regulators PDGF Receptor β (PDGFRB), Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule, and Neuropilin, which were confirmed to bind to a lectin-recognizing α2,6 sialic acid. Loss of ST6GAL1 was confirmed to decrease PDGFRB α2,6 sialylation, total protein levels, and the induction of phosphorylation by PDGF-BB. Thus, ST6GAL1-mediated α2,6 sialylation of a select subset of cell surface receptors, including PDGFRB, increases GBM growth.
  • Published In

  • JCI Insight  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gc S; Tuy K; Rickenbacker L; Jones R; Chakraborty A; Miller CR; Beierle EA; Hanumanthu VS; Tran AN; Mobley JA
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 21