Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 245–254 | Cite as

Different sialyltransferase activities in human colorectal carcinoma cells from surgical specimens detected by specific glycoprotein and glycolipid acceptors

  • W. Kemmner
  • D. Krück
  • P. Schlag


The amount and type of sialylation of tumor cell membranes depends on the activity of a number of different sialyltransferase enzymes. For the detection of specific activities in human colorectal carcinoma tissue several glycoprotein and glycolipid acceptors were used: desialylated fetuin, α1-acid glycoprotein, β2-glycoprotein I, ovine submaxillaris mucin, and the gangliosides GM1, GM2, GM3 and GD1a. Because of their possible relevance for metastasis, precursors of Lea and Lex antigens, too, were employed, namely neoglycolipids produced by coupling LcOse4 or NeoLcOse4 oligosaccharides tol-α-phosphatidyl-ethanol-amine-dipalmitoyl. Our data indicate that human colorectal tumor tissue contains two highly active sialyltransferase enzymes, which are only weakly expressed in normal mucosa. These are a N-glycan-specific α2,6-sialyltransferase, which was significantly increased in metastasizing tumors, and a Galβ1,3Gal-NAc-specific sialyltransferase, which was increased in tumors of early stages. A shift to enhanced α2,6-sialylation of membrane glycoproteins during carcinogenesis was demonstrated by lectin ELISA analysis of magneto-bead separated tumor cells. Quantitative determination of specific sialyltransferase activities may be a sensitive tool for detection and monitoring of colon carcinoma.


Galβ1 3GalNAc sialyltransferase Galβ1 4GlcNAc human colon carcinoma analysis sialyltransferase acceptors surgical specimens 


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Copyright information

© Rapid Communications of Oxford Ltd 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Kemmner
    • 1
  • D. Krück
    • 1
  • P. Schlag
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Biochemie IIUniversität HeidelbergHeidelberg
  2. 2.Robert-Rössle-Onkologische KlinikBerlin-BuchGermany

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