, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 207-212

Role of N-glycans in growth factor signaling

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Secreted proteins and membrane proteins are frequently post-translationally modified by oligosaccharides. Therefore, many glycoproteins are involved in signal transduction. One example is growth factor receptors, which are membrane proteins that often contain oligosaccharides. The oligosaccharides in those growth factor receptors play crucial roles in receptor functions. An analysis of glycosyltransferase-transfectants revealed that the branching structures of oligosaccharide also serve as important determinants. For example, N-glycans of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are involved in receptor sorting, ligand binding and dimerization. The addition of a bisecting GlcNAc to N-glycans increases the endocytosis of EGFR. N-glycans of Trk, a high affinity nerve growth factor receptor, also affect its function. Thus, oligosaccharides play an important role in growth factor signaling. Published in 2004.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.