Modulation ofN-glycosylation by mesalamine facilitates membranous E-cadherin expression in colon epithelial cells

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Graphical abstract5-ASA induces membranous retention of E-cadherin through remodeling of N-glycans. Stabilization of E-cadherin at cell, contacts results in increased intercellular adhesion restricting tumor progression or restoring epithelial integrity in IBD.Genome wide association studies have implicated intestinal barrier function genes in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. One of such loci CDH1, encoding E-cadherin, a transmembrane glycoprotein with known tumor suppressor functions, is also linked to the susceptibility to colorectal cancer. Loss of membranous E-cadherin expression is common in both colitis and cancer. We have recently demonstrated that mesalamine (5-ASA); the anti-inflammatory drug used to treat ulcerative colitis, induces membranous expression of E-cadherin and increases intercellular adhesion. Using colorectal cancer epithelial cells with aberrant E-cadherin expression, we investigated the mechanism underlying such an effect of 5-ASA. Post-translational modification of E-cadherin glycosylation was analyzed by biotin/streptavidin detection of sialylated glycoproteins. GnT-III (N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III) expression was assessed by qRT-PCR, Western blot and immunofluorescence. GnT-III activity was analyzed by reactivity with E-4/L-4-PHA. Expression, localization and interaction of E-cadherin and β-catenin were analyzed by Western blot, immunocytochemistry and RNA interference. 5-ASA activity modulated E-cadherin glycosylation and increased both mRNA and protein levels of GnT-III and its activity as detected by increased E4-lectin reactivity. Intestinal APCMin polyps in mice showed low expression of GnT-III and 5-ASA was effective in increasing its expression. The data demonstrated that remodeling of glycans by GnT-III mediated bisect glycosylation, contributes to the membranous retention of E-cadherin by 5-ASA; facilitating intercellular adhesion. Induction of membranous expression of E-cadherin by 5-ASA is a novel mechanism for mucosal healing in colitis that might impede tumor progression by modulation of GnT-III expression.

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