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Knockdown of GnT-Va expression inhibits ligand-induced downregulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor and intracellular signaling by inhibiting receptor endocytosis

By Hua-Bei Guo, Heather Johnson, Matthew Randolph, Intaek Lee and Michael Pierce


Changes in the expression of N-glycan branching glycosyltransferases can alter cell surface receptor functions, involving their levels of cell surface retention, rates of internalization into the endosomal compartment, and subsequent intracellular signaling. To study in detail the regulation of signaling of the EGF receptor (EGFR) by GlcNAc╬▓(1,6)Man branching, we utilized specific siRNA to selectively knockdown GnT-Va expression in the highly invasive human breast carcinoma line MDA-MB231, which resulted in the attenuation of its invasiveness-related phenotypes. Compared to control cells, ligand-induced downregulation of EGFR was significantly inhibited in GnT-Va-suppressed cells. This effect could be reversed by re-expression of GnT-Va, indicating that changes in ligand-induced receptor downregulation were dependent on GnT-Va activity. Knockdown of GnT-Va had no significant effect on c-Cbl mediated receptor ubiquitination and degradation, but did cause the inhibition of receptor internalization, showing that altered signaling and delayed ligand-induced downregulation of EGFR expression resulted from decreased EGFR endocytosis. Similar results were obtained with HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells treated with GnT-Va siRNA. Inhibited receptor internalization caused by the expression of GnT-Va siRNA appeared to be independent of galectin binding since decreased EGFR internalization in the knockdown cells was not affected by the treatment of the cells with lactose, a galectin inhibitor. Our results show that decreased GnT-Va activity due to siRNA expression in human carcinoma cells inhibits ligand-induced EGFR internalization, consequently resulting in delayed downstream signal transduction and inhibition of the EGF-induced, invasiveness-related phenotypes

Topics: Original Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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