Background and Objective
Due to recurrence and metastasis, the mortality of Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is high. It is well known that the epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and glycan of cell surface glycoproteins play pivotal roles in tumor metastasis. The goal of this study was to identify HCC metastasis related differential glycan pattern and their enzymatic basis using a HGF induced EMT model.
HGF was used to induce HCC EMT model. Lectin microarray was used to detect the expression of cell surface glycan and the difference was validated by lectin blot and fluorescence cell lectin-immunochemistry. The mRNA expression levels of glycotransferases were determined by qRT-PCR.
After HGF treatment, the Huh7 cell lost epithelial characteristics and obtained mesenchymal markers. These changes demonstrated that HGF could induce a typical cell model of EMT. Lectin microarray analysis identified a decreased affinity in seven lectins ACL, BPL, JAC, MPL, PHA-E, SNA, and SBA to the glycan of cell surface glycoproteins. This implied that glycan containing T/Tn-antigen, NA2 and bisecting GlcNAc, Siaα2-6Gal/GalNAc, terminal α or βGalNAc structures were reduced. The binding ability of thirteen lectins, AAL, LCA, LTL, ConA, NML, NPL, DBA, HAL, PTL II, WFL, ECL, GSL II and PHA-L to glycan were elevated, and a definite indication that glycan containing terminal αFuc and ± Sia-Le, core fucose, α-man, gal-β(α) GalNAc, β1,6 GlcNAc branching and tetraantennary complex oligosaccharides structures were increased. These results were further validated by lectin blot and fluorescence cell lectin-immunochemistry. Furthermore, the mRNA expression level of Mgat3 decreased while that of Mgat5, FucT8 and β3GalT5 increased. Therefore, cell surface glycan alterations in the EMT process may coincide with the expression of glycosyltransferase.
The findings of this study systematically clarify the alterations of cell surface glycan in cancer EMT, and may provide novel insight for HCC metastasis.