Glycosylation is an important post-translational modification, in which attachment of glycans to proteins has effects on biological functions and carcinogenesis. Analysis of human chorionic gonadotropin, a glycoprotein hormone produced by placental trophoblasts and trophoblastic tumors, has contributed to the diagnosis and treatment of trophoblastic disease, resulting in reduced incidence and mortality. However, alterations of the glycan structure itself in choriocarcinoma have not been characterized. We established a new choriocarcinoma cell line, induced choriocarcinoma cell-1 (iC3-1), which mimics the clinical pathohistology in vivo, to examine the tumorigenesis and pathogenesis of choriocarcinoma. In this study, the alterations of glycan structures in the development of choriocarcinoma were examined by performance of comprehensive glycan profiling in clinical samples and in iC3-1 cells using a conventional microarray and the recently introduced lectin microarray. Microarray comparison showed significant upregulation of several characteristic glycogenes in the iC3-1 cells as compared to the parental HTR8/SVneo cells. The lectin array showed increased α-2-6-sialic acid, Galβ1-4GlcNAc, GlcNAcβ1-3GalNAc, and decreased α-1-6 core fucose, high mannose, GalNacβ1-4Gal, GALNAc (Tn antigen) and Galβ-3Gal in choriocarcinoma tissue compared to normal villi. This is the first report of a lectin array analysis in choriocarcinoma and provides useful information for understanding of the disease.
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