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

Down-regulation of sialidase NEU4 may contribute to invasive properties of human colon cancers.

In mammalian cells, four types of sialidase have been described and found to behave in different ways during carcinogenesis. We previously demonstrated that a human sialidase associated with plasma membranes (NEU3) is up-regulated in human colon cancer and is involved in suppression of apoptosis. Here we document altered expression of another human sialidase, the recently identified NEU4, and evidence of its influence on the malignant phenotype in colon cancers. Human colon mucosa was relatively rich in NEU4, which has been observed to possess short and long isoforms, but hardly contained the latter form. In clear contrast to the NEU3 case, the levels of mRNA for this sialidase were found by quantitative RT-PCR to be markedly decreased in colon cancers. In cultured human colon cancer cells, the enzyme was up-regulated in the early stage of apoptosis induced by either the death ligand TRAIL or serum-depletion, and transfection of NEU4 resulted in acceleration of apoptosis and in decreased invasion and motility. The siRNA-mediated NEU4 targeting, on the other hand, caused a significant inhibition of apoptosis and promotion of invasion and motility. Lectin blot analyses revealed that desialylated forms of nearly 100 kDa glycoproteins were prominently increased with PNA in NEU4 transfectants, whereas only slight changes in glycolipids were detected as assessed by thin layer chromatography. These results suggest that NEU4 plays important roles for maintenance of normal mucosa mostly through desialylation of glycoproteins and that down-regulation may contribute to invasive properties of colon cancers.[1]


  1. Down-regulation of sialidase NEU4 may contribute to invasive properties of human colon cancers. Yamanami, H., Shiozaki, K., Wada, T., Yamaguchi, K., Uemura, T., Kakugawa, Y., Hujiya, T., Miyagi, T. Cancer Sci. (2007) [Pubmed]
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