Identification of glycan structure alterations on cell membrane proteins in desoxyepothilone B resistant leukemia cells

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Nakano, Miyako
Saldanha, Rohit
Gobel, Anja
Kavallaris, Maria
Packer, Nicolle H.
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Resistance to tubulin-binding agents used in cancer is often multifactorial and can include changes in drug accumulation and modified expression of tubulin isotypes. Glycans on cell membrane proteins play important roles in many cellular processes such as recognition and apoptosis, and this study investigated whether changes to the glycan structures on cell membrane proteins occur when cells become resistant to drugs. Specifically, we investigated the alteration of glycan structures on the cell membrane proteins of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM) cells that were selected for resistance to desoxyepothilone B (CEM/dEpoB). The glycan profile of the cell membrane glycoproteins was obtained by sequential release of N- and O-glycans from cell membrane fraction dotted onto polyvinylidene difluoride membrane with PNGase F and β-elimination respectively. The released glycan alditols were analyzed by liquid chromatography (graphitized carbon)-electrospray ionization tandem MS. The major N-glycan on CEM cell was the core fucosylated α2–6 monosialo-biantennary structure. Resistant CEM/dEpoB cells had a significant decrease of α2–6 linked sialic acid on N-glycans. The lower α2–6 sialylation was caused by a decrease in activity of β-galactoside α2–6 sialyltransferase (ST6Gal), and decreased expression of the mRNA. It is clear that the membrane glycosylation of leukemia cells changes during acquired resistance to dEpoB drugs and that this change occurs globally on all cell membrane glycoproteins. This is the first identification of a specific glycan modification on the surface of drug resistant cells and the mechanism of this downstream effect on microtubule targeting drugs may offer a route to new interventions to overcome drug resistance.

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Molecular and Cellular Proteomics
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This research was originally published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics (MCP). Nakano et al, Identification of glycan structure alterations on cell membrane proteins in desoxyepothilone B resistant leukemia cells, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics (MCP),  2011; 10(11): 1-12. Copyright the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitve version.
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