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Medical Oncology

, Volume 28, Supplement 1, pp 675–684 | Cite as

Biochemical, pathological and oncological relevance of Gb3Cer receptor

  • D. ĐevenicaEmail author
  • V. Čikeš Čulić
  • A. Vuica
  • A. Markotić
Original paper

Abstract

Glycosphingolipids are amphipathic molecules composed of hydrophilic oligosaccharide chain and a hydrophobic ceramide part, located primarily in the membrane microdomains of animal cells. Their oligosaccharide chains make them excellent candidates for the cell surface recognition molecules. Natural glycosphingolipid, globotriaosylceramide (Gal α1-4, Gal β1-4, Glc β1-1, ceramide), is also called CD77 and its expression was previously associated with proliferating centroblasts undergoing somatic hypermutation, but it has been demonstrate that globotriaosylceramide is not a reliable marker to discriminate human centroblasts from centrocytes. Globotriaosylceramide constitutes rare P k blood group antigen on erythrocytes, and it is also known as Burkitt’s lymphoma antigen. On endothelial cells, globotriaosylceramide plays as the receptor for bacterial toxins of the Shiga family, also called verotoxins. Precise biological function and significance of globotriaosylceramide expression on endothelial cells remains to be the subject of many studies and it is believed globotriaosylceramide represents an example of a glycolipid antigen able to transduce a signal leading to apoptosis. In past decade, cancer researches put a great afford in determining new therapeutic agents such as bacterial toxins against tumor malignancies. Reports have demonstrated that verotoxin-1 induces apoptosis in solid tumor cell lines expressing globotriaosylceramide such as astrocytoma, renal cell carcinoma, colon cancer and breast cancer due to verotoxin-1 high specificity and apoptosis-inducing properties, and therefore, it is suggested to be an anticancer agent. Verotoxins have been investigated weather they could reduce treatment side-effects and toxicity to normal tissues and become a new oncological tool in cancer labeling.

Keywords

Glycosphingolipids Verotoxins Lipid rafts Endothelial apoptosis Antibody-based cancer immunotherapy 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This work resulted from scientific project “Pathobiochemistry of glycosphingolipid antigens” carried out by support of Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Republic of Croatia.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Đevenica
    • 1
    Email author
  • V. Čikeš Čulić
    • 2
  • A. Vuica
    • 3
  • A. Markotić
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Split School of MedicineSplitCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Medical Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of Split School of MedicineSplitCroatia
  3. 3.University Hospital SplitSplitCroatia

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