Oncogenic signaling promotes tumor invasion and metastasis, in part, by increasing the expression of tri- and tetra- branched N-glycans. The branched N-glycans bind to galectins forming a multivalent lattice that enhances cell surface residency of growth factor receptors, and focal adhesion turnover. N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I (MGAT1), the first branching enzyme in the pathway, is required for the addition of all subsequent branches. Here we have introduced MGAT1 shRNA into human HeLa cervical and PC-3-Yellow prostate tumor cells lines, generating cell lines with reduced transcript, enzyme activity and branched N-glycans at the cell surface. MGAT1 knockdown inhibited HeLa cell migration and invasion, but did not alter cell proliferation rates. Swainsonine, an inhibitor of α-mannosidase II immediately downstream of MGAT1, also inhibited cell invasion and was not additive with MGAT1 shRNA, consistent with a common mechanism of action. Focal adhesion and microfilament organization in MGAT1 knockdown cells also indicate a less motile phenotype. In vivo, MGAT1 knockdown in the PC-3-Yellow orthotopic prostate cancer xenograft model significantly decreased primary tumor growth and the incidence of lung metastases. Our results demonstrate that blocking MGAT1 is a potential target for anti-cancer therapy. © 2012 Beheshti Zavareh et al.
Beheshti Zavareh, R., Sukhai, M. A., Hurren, R., Gronda, M., Wang, X., Simpson, C. D., … Dennis, J. W. (2012). Suppression of Cancer Progression by MGAT1 shRNA Knockdown. PLoS ONE, 7(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0043721