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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The addition of bisecting N-acetylglucosamine residues to E-cadherin down-regulates the tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin.

The enzyme GnT-III (beta 1,4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III) catalyzes the addition of a bisecting N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residue on glycoproteins. Our previous study described that the transfection of GnT-lll into mouse melanoma cells results in the enhanced expression of E-cadherin, which in turn leads to the suppression of lung metastasis. It has recently been proposed that the phosphorylation of a tyrosine residue of beta-catenin is associated with cell migration. The present study reports on the importance of bisecting GlcNAc residues by GnT-lll on tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin using three types of cancer cell lines. An addition of bisecting GlcNAc residues to E-cadherin leads to an alteration in cell morphology and the localization of beta-catenin after epidermal growth factor stimulation. These changes are the result of a down-regulation in the tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin. In addition, tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin by transfection of constitutively active c-src was suppressed in GnT-III transfectants as well as in the case of epidermal growth factor stimulation. Treatment with tunicamycin abolished any differences in beta-catenin phosphorylation for the mock vis à vis the GnT-lll transfectants. Thus, the addition of a specific N-glycan structure, the bisecting GlcNAc to E-cadherin-beta-catenin complex, down-regulates the intracellular signaling pathway, suggesting its implication in cell motility and the suppression of cancer metastasis.[1]


  1. The addition of bisecting N-acetylglucosamine residues to E-cadherin down-regulates the tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin. Kitada, T., Miyoshi, E., Noda, K., Higashiyama, S., Ihara, H., Matsuura, N., Hayashi, N., Kawata, S., Matsuzawa, Y., Taniguchi, N. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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