20220615 Khoo KH paper photo

Cancer Malignancy Is Correlated with Upregulation of PCYT2-Mediated Glycerol Phosphate Modification of α-Dystroglycan

Cancer Malignancy Is Correlated with Upregulation of PCYT2-Mediated Glycerol Phosphate Modification of α-Dystroglycan

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 15; 23(12):6662.
doi: 10.3390/ijms23126662

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Umezawa F, Natsume M, Fukusada S, Nakajima K, Yamasaki F, Kawashima H, Kuo CW, Khoo KH, Shimura T, Yagi H, Kato K

Abstract

The dystrophin-glycoprotein complex connects the cytoskeleton with base membrane components such as laminin through unique O-glycans displayed on α-dystroglycan (α-DG). Genetic impairment of elongation of these glycans causes congenital muscular dystrophies. We previously identified that glycerol phosphate (GroP) can cap the core part of the α-DG O-glycans and terminate their further elongation. This study examined the possible roles of the GroP modification in cancer malignancy, focusing on colorectal cancer. We found that the GroP modification critically depends on PCYT2, which serves as cytidine 5'-diphosphate-glycerol (CDP-Gro) synthase. Furthermore, we identified a significant positive correlation between cancer progression and GroP modification, which also correlated positively with PCYT2 expression. Moreover, we demonstrate that GroP modification promotes the migration of cancer cells. Based on these findings, we propose that the GroP modification by PCYT2 disrupts the glycan-mediated cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix and thereby enhances cancer metastasis. Thus, the present study suggests the possibility of novel approaches for cancer treatment by targeting the PCYT2-mediated GroP modification.