Glycosylation of glycolipids in cancer: basis for development of novel therapeutic approaches
- Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Departamento de Química Biológica, Centro de Investigaciones en Química Biológica de Córdoba (CIQUIBIC, UNC-CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
Altered networks of gene regulation underlie many pathologies, including cancer. There are several proteins in cancer cells that are turned either on or off, which dramatically alters the metabolism and the overall activity of the cell, with the complex machinery of enzymes involved in the metabolism of glycolipids not being an exception. The aberrant glycosylation of glycolipids on the surface of the majority of cancer cells, associated with increasing evidence about the functional role of these molecules in a number of cellular physiological pathways, has received considerable attention as a convenient immunotherapeutic target for cancer treatment. This has resulted in the development of a substantial number of passive and active immunotherapies, which have shown promising results in clinical trials. More recently, antibodies to glycolipids have also emerged as an attractive tool for the targeted delivery of cytotoxic agents, thereby providing a rationale for future therapeutic interventions in cancer. This review first summarizes the cellular and molecular bases involved in the metabolic pathway and expression of glycolipids, both in normal and tumor cells, paying particular attention to sialosylated glycolipids (gangliosides). The current strategies in the battle against cancer in which glycolipids are key players are then described.
Keywords: gangliosides, glycolipids, glycosylation, cancer, immunotherapy, antibodies, immunotoxin
Citation: Daniotti JL, Vilcaes AA, Torres Demichelis V, Ruggiero FM and Rodriguez-Walker M (2013) Glycosylation of glycolipids in cancer: basis for development of novel therapeutic approaches. Front. Oncol. 3:306. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00306
Received: 09 November 2013; Paper pending published: 25 November 2013;
Accepted: 03 December 2013; Published online: 19 December 2013.
Edited by:Adriane Regina Todeschini, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Reviewed by:Olivier Micheau, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, France
Leonardo Freire De Lima, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Copyright: © 2013 Daniotti, Vilcaes, Torres Demichelis, Ruggiero and Rodriguez-Walker. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
*Correspondence: Jose L. Daniotti, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Departamento de Química Biológica, Centro de Investigaciones en Química Biológica de Córdoba (CIQUIBIC, UNC-CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Haya de la Torre y Medina Allende, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba 5000, Argentina e-mail: email@example.com