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

Fucosyltransferase activities in human pancreatic tissue: comparative study between cancer tissues and established tumoral cell lines.

Human pancreatic cancer is characterized by an alteration in fucose-containing surface blood group antigens such as H antigen, Lewis b, Lewis y, and sialyl-Lewis. These carbohydrate determinants can be synthesized by sequential action of alpha(2,3) sialyltransferases or alpha(1,2) fucosyltransferases (Fuc-T) and alpha(1,3/1,4) fucosyltransferases on (poly)N-acetyllactosamine chains. Therefore, the expression and the function of seven fucosyltransferases were investigated in normal and cancer pancreatic tissues and in four pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. Transcripts of FUT1, FUT2, FUT3, FUT4, FUT5, and FUT7 were detected by RT-PCR in carcinoma cell lines as well as in normal and tumoral tissues. Interestingly, the FUT6 message was only detected in tumoral tissues. Analysis of the acceptor substrate specificity for fucosyltransferases indicated that alpha(1,2) Fuc-T, alpha(1,3) Fuc-T, and alpha(1,4) Fuc-T were expressed in microsome preparations of all tissues as demonstrated by fucose incorporation into phenyl beta-d-galactoside, 2'-fucosyllactose, N-acetyllactosamine, 3'-sialyl-N-acetyllactosamine, and lacto-N-biose. However, these fucosyltransferase activities varied between tissues. A substantial decrease of alpha(1,2) Fuc-T activity was observed in tumoral tissues and cell lines compared to normal tissues. Conversely, the activity of alpha(1,4) Fuc-T, which generates Lewis a and sialyl-Lewis a structures, and that of alpha(1,3) Fuc-T, able to generate a lactodifucotetraose structure, were very important in SOJ-6 and BxPC-3 cell lines. These increases correlated with an enhanced expression of Lewis a, sialyl-Lewis a, and Lewis y on the cell surface. The activity of alpha(1,3) Fuc-T, which participates in the synthesis of the sialyl-Lewis x structure, was not significantly modified in cell lines compared to normal tissues. However, the sialyl-Lewis x antigen was expressed preferentially on the surface of SOJ-6 and BxPC-3 cell lines but was not detected on Panc-1 and MiaPaca-2 cell lines suggesting that several alpha(1,3) Fuc-T might be involved in sialyl-Lewis x synthesis.[1]


  1. Fucosyltransferase activities in human pancreatic tissue: comparative study between cancer tissues and established tumoral cell lines. Mas, E., Pasqualini, E., Caillol, N., El Battari, A., Crotte, C., Lombardo, D., Sadoulet, M.O. Glycobiology (1998) [Pubmed]
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