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

Loss of epithelial cell surface carbohydrates during experimental oral carcinogenesis in the rat.

Cell surface glycoconjugates were investigated in a rat model of oral chemical carcinogenesis. The lectins Griffonia simplicifolia (GS-I-B4; specific for alpha-D-galactosyl end groups) and Ulex europeus (UEA-I; specific for alpha-L-fucosyl groups) were examined microspectrofluorimetrically in the oral epithelium of rats painted with the carcinogen 4-nitroquinoline N-oxide (4NQO) and compared with those treated with solvent alone. After labelling with GS-I-B4, the fluorescent intensity of the basal and parabasal epithelial cells was significantly less after 9 months of 4NQO treatment and in overt squamous cell carcinomas compared to controls. The fluorescent activity of the spinous epithelial cells in the non-invasive tissues treated with 4NQO and in the well differentiated (sites of keratin elaboration) malignant epithelium of squamous cell carcinomas was unchanged after labelling with UEA-I. UEA-I failed to stain undifferentiated (areas lacking keratin) malignant epithelium. The findings indicate that alpha-D-galactosyl residues are diminished on the membranes of premalignant and malignant rat epithelial cells. The expression of alpha-L-fucosyl groups, however, remains unchanged in premalignant rat oral epithelium and is closely correlated to the presence of keratin in the malignant epithelium of squamous cell carcinomas.[1]


  1. Loss of epithelial cell surface carbohydrates during experimental oral carcinogenesis in the rat. Prime, S.S., Rosser, T.J., Davies, L.S., Scully, C. Br. J. Cancer (1987) [Pubmed]
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