We have recently established and characterized cellular clones deriving from MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells that express the human GD3 synthase (GD3S), the enzyme that controls the biosynthesis of b- and c-series gangliosides. The GD3S positive clones show a proliferative phenotype in the absence of serum or growth factors and an increased tumor growth in severe immunodeficient mice. This phenotype results from the constitutive activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase c-Met in spite of the absence of ligand and subsequent activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt pathways. Here, we show by mass spectrometry analysis of total glycosphingolipids that GD3 and GD2 are the main gangliosides expressed by the GD3S positive clones. Moreover, GD2 colocalized with c-Met at the plasma membrane and small interfering RNA silencing of the GM2/GD2 synthase efficiently reduced the expression of GD2 as well as c-Met phosphorylation and reversed the proliferative phenotype. Competition assays using anti-GD2 monoclonal antibodies also inhibit proliferation and c-Met phosphorylation of GD3S positive clones in serum-free conditions. Altogether, these results demonstrate the involvement of the disialoganglioside GD2 in MDA-MB-231 cell proliferation via the constitutive activation of c-Met. The accumulation of GD2 in c-Met expressing cells could therefore reinforce the tumorigenicity and aggressiveness of breast cancer tumors.
Bacterial heat-labile (LT) enterotoxins signal through tightly regulated interactions with host cell gangliosides. LT-IIa and LT-IIb of Escherichia coli bind preferentially to gangliosides with a NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-3GalNAc terminus, with key distinctions in specificity. LT-IIc, a newly discove ... more
Phosphate deficiency is characteristic for many natural habitats, resulting in different physiological responses in plants and bacteria including the replacement of phospholipids by glycolipids and other phosphorous-free lipids. The plant pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, whi ... more
A tryptophan side chain was introduced into subsite +1 of family GH-18 (class V) chitinases from Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana (NtChiV and AtChiC, respectively) by the mutation of a glycine residue to tryptophan (G74W-NtChiV and G75W-AtChiC). The specific activity toward glyco ... more