The expression of human FUT1 in HT-29/M3 colon cancer cells instructs the glycosylation of MUC1 and MUC5AC apomucins
Recently, we have reported that in normal gastric epithelium, the expression of gastric apomucins MUC5AC and MUC6 is associated with the specific expression of type 1 and type 2 Lewis antigens, and FUT2 and FUT1 fucosyltransferases, respectively. Until now, there are no data demonstrating the direct implication of specific glycosyltransferases in the specific patterns of apomucin glycosylation.
HT29/M3 colon cancer cell line express MUC1, MUC5AC, type 1 Lewis antigens and FUT2 but not type 2 structures and FUT1, as it occurs in the epithelial cells of the gastric superficial epithelium. These cells were transfected with the cDNA of human FUT1, the α-1,2-fucosyltransferase responsible for the synthesis of type 2 Lewis antigens, to assess the implication of FUT1 in the glycosylation of MUC1 and MUC5AC.
The M3-FUT1 clones obtained express high levels of type 2 Lewis antigens: H type 2 and Ley antigens. Immunoprecipitation of MUC1 and MUC5AC apomucins gives the direct evidence that FUT1 catalyses the addition of α-1,2-fucose to these apomucins, supporting the hypothesis that the pattern of apomucin glycosylation is not only instructed by the mucin primary sequence but also by the set of glycosyltransferases expressed in each specific cell type.