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

The alpha-glucosidase I inhibitor castanospermine alters endothelial cell glycosylation, prevents angiogenesis, and inhibits tumor growth.

The development of drugs that target the tumor neovasculature may hold promise in inhibiting tumor growth. Experiments in vivo with castanospermine, an inhibitor of the glucosidases that convert protein N-linked high mannose carbohydrates to complex oligosaccharides, resulted in significant inhibition of tumor growth in nude mice. Angiogenesis to basic fibroblast growth factor in castanospermine-treated C57/BL mice was similarly reduced. Endothelial cell proliferation, invasion of basement membrane, and differentiation are crucial steps during neovascularization. In vitro differentiation models using Matrigel and postconfluent cultures of endothelial cells were used to study the effects of glycosidase inhibitors on endothelial cell behavior. FACS analysis of cell surface oligosaccharides using either Concanavalin A or L-phytohemagglutinin lectins confirmed an increase in high mannose groups and a decrease in tri- and tetra antennary beta-linked galactose-N-acetylglucosamine on mannose residues of Asn-linked oligosaccharides upon drug treatment. Castanospermine and the glucosidase inhibitor N-methyldeoxynojirimycin prevented the morphological differentiation of endothelial cells in vitro. These compounds did not alter the proliferation of cultured endothelial cells or their ability to attach to various extracellular matrix molecules. However, the cells showed a reduced ability to migrate and to invade basement membrane gels in vitro and an increased tendency to form aggregates that was inhibitable by D-mannose. These studies suggest that certain cell surface oligosaccharides are required for angiogenesis and that glucosidase inhibitors that alter these structures on endothelial cells are able to inhibit tumor growth.[1]


  1. The alpha-glucosidase I inhibitor castanospermine alters endothelial cell glycosylation, prevents angiogenesis, and inhibits tumor growth. Pili, R., Chang, J., Partis, R.A., Mueller, R.A., Chrest, F.J., Passaniti, A. Cancer Res. (1995) [Pubmed]
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