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Polypeptide N-acetylgalactos­aminyltransferase (GALNT; GalNac-T)

Patient sample, cell culture and mouse studies suggest inhibiting GALNT could help treat cancer. Addition of N-acetylgalactosamine to proteins by GALNT has previously been shown to correlate with metastatic potential. In human breast cancer tissue arrays, levels of proteins modified by N-acetylgalactosamine were 4.7-fold higher in malignant tissue than in normal or benign tissue tumor cores, with 70% of GALNT from highly expressing tissue localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In mouse xenograft models of metastatic lung cancer, injection of cells expressing a lectin that binds to N-acetylgalactosamine increased survival and decreased metastasis compared with injection of cells not expressing the lectin. Next steps include identifying substrates for GALNT in the ER.

SciBX 6(32); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.855
Published online Aug. 22, 2013

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Gill, D.J. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Aug. 2, 2013;
Contact: Frederic A. Bard, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Proteos, Singapore