Metabolic Labeling of Malignant Breast Cells Resistance to Chemotherapy with N-Glycolylneuraminic Acid Allows Differential Surface Detection

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Histology and Cytology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt

2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt

3 GlycoMantra, Inc., Baltimore, MD 21227, USA.


The ultimate goal of cancer science is to learn how to select a cancer cell surface. Glycans in cancer cells are frequently at varying quantities or have fundamentally various structures than those seen in normal cells. The presence of sialic acid (Neu5Ac), which is prevalent at the end of glycan chains, is significant. N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) is a “non-human” sugar type that intercept into Neu5Ac natural biosynthetic machinery, presaging as a perspective biomarker. Malignant breast cells resistance to chemotherapy and their non-malignant counterparts, when treated with the Neu5Gc under nutrient deprivation, display cell surface tumor-associated Neu5Gc-rich glycans, which is capture with Neu5Gc linkage specific plant lectins such as Triticum vulgaris agglutinin (WGA), Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA), and Maackia amurensis agglutinin I (MAL-I). Nevertheless, MAL-I binding differentiates surface of malignant breast cell line resistance to chemotherapy MCF-7/H compared to normal mammary epithelial cell line MCF-10/A. These findings emphasize the importance of one oxygen atom in Neu5Gc; it’s supplementing of nutrient-depleted cancer cells' resistance to chemotherapy and facilitates the way for the implementation of better diagnostic and prognostic approaches.


Main Subjects