Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 791–796 | Cite as

Enhancement of glycosylation of cellular glycoconjugates in the squamous carcinoma cell line MDA886Ln by β-all-trans retinoic acid

  • Peter G. Sacks
  • Brad Amos
  • Reuben Lotan


Retinoids have been shown to inhibit the growth and modulate the glycosylation of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cells including the MDA886Ln cells. To examine the effects of β-all-trans retinoic acid (RA) on glycoconjugates in HNSCC MDA886Ln cells, the cells were grown in the absence or presence of 1 µM RA and then labeled with tritiated monosaccharides, extracted and analysed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography. RA increased markedly the incorporation of [3H]-glucosamine, [3H]-galactose, and [3H]-mannose into numerous cellular glycoconjugates, however, the incorporation of [3H]-fucose and [3H]-leucine was almost unaffected by RA. RA increased the incorporation of glucosamine and galactose but not mannose into high molecular weight (HMW) glycoconjugates of about 220 and 500–600 kDa. To analyse the steady state level of glycoconjugates by lectin blotting, extracts of unlabeled cells were separated by gel electrophoresis and the gels were probed with125I-labeled wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) andMaackia amurensis (MA) agglutinin. Both lectins were found to bind to numerous glycoconjugates including the HMW glycoconjugates, whereas125I-peanut agglutinin bound only to the HMW glycoconjugates. RA treatment increased the binding of all three lectins to the HMW glycoconjugates. These findings demonstrate that RA enhanced the incorporation of specific monosaccharides into a variety of glycoconjugates and in particular into HMW mucin-like glycoconjugates. This effect of RA may be the result of induction of a more normal differentiation state of the HNSCC cells.


retinoids squamous cell carcinoma MDA886Ln 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter G. Sacks
    • 1
  • Brad Amos
    • 2
  • Reuben Lotan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Tumor BiologyUniversity of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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