Sialylation of plasma membrane glycoproteins is thought to be involved in the regulation of differentiation and in the process of tumorigenesis. Here we show that sialylation also affects cell-cell contact-dependent growth regulation. When cultured in the presence of non-physiological synthetic sialic acid precursors, human diploid fibroblasts no longer exhibited density-dependent inhibition of growth. Concomitantly, increased sialylation of contactinhibin, a glycoprotein involved in density-dependent inhibition of growth, was observed. These results indicate that sialidase-resistant sialic acid modifications lead to dysregulated growth control. The modifications have been induced by N-propanoyl and other N-acyl derivatives of D-mannosamine.
Wieser, J. R., Heisner, A., Stehling, P., Oesch, F., & Reutter, W. (1996). In vivo modulated N-acyl side chain of N-acetylneuraminic acid modulates the cell contact-dependent inhibition of growth. FEBS Letters, 395(2–3), 170–173. https://doi.org/10.1016/0014-5793(96)01029-0