The sugar-attaching enzyme that defines colon cancer

Researchers have identified an enzyme that is absent in healthy colon tissue but abundant in colon cancer cells, according to a report in the Jan. 26 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The enzyme appears to drive the conversion of normal colon tissue into cancer by attaching sugar molecules, or glycans, to certain proteins in the cell.

Understanding the role that sugar-modified (glycosylated) proteins play in healthy and cancerous cells is an emerging area of cancer biology that may lead to new therapies.

Journal Reference:

  1. Kirstine Lavrsen, Sally Dabelsteen, Sergey Y. Vakhrushev, Asha M. R. Levann, Amalie Dahl Haue, August Dylander, Ulla Mandel, Lars Hansen, Morten Frödin, Eric P. Bennett, Hans H. Wandall. De novoexpression of human polypeptideN-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 6 (GalNAc-T6) in colon adenocarcinoma inhibits the differentiation of colonic epitheliumJournal of Biological Chemistry, 2018; 293 (4): 1298 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M117.812826