J Cancer 2018; 9(15):2666-2677. doi:10.7150/jca.25252

Research Paper

Knockdown of C1GalT1 inhibits radioresistance of human esophageal cancer cells through modifying β1-integrin glycosylation

Chuanyi Zhang1*, Xinzhou Deng1*, Li Qiu1, Feng Peng1, Shanshan Geng1, Li Shen2✉, Zhiguo Luo1✉

1. Department of Clinical Oncology, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei 442000, P.R. China
2. Department of Biochemistry, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei 442000, P.R. China
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Radiotherapy has played a limited role for the treatment of human esophageal cancer owing to the risk of tumor radioresistance. Core 1 β1, 3-galactosyltransferase (C1GalT1), which catalyzes the formation of core 1 O-glycan structures, is frequently overexpressed during tumorigenesis. However, the exact effects and mechanisms of C1GalT1 in the radioresistance of esophageal cancer remain unclear. In this study, Public databases and our data revealed that C1GalT1 expression was up-regulated in esophageal cancer tissues and was associated with poor survival. Upon irradiation, we found that esophageal cancer cells with high levels of C1GalT1 could tolerate cell death and had increased resistance to radiotherapy. Irradiation also promoted the expression of C1GalT1 and core 1 O-glycan structures. C1GalT1 knockdown increased the radiosensitivity of esophageal cancer cells, and attenuated irradiation-enhanced migration and invasion. Mechanistic investigations showed that C1GalT1 modified O-glycan structures on β1-integrin and regulated its downstream focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling. Furthermore, β1-integrin-blocking antibody and FAK inhibitor enhanced radiation-induced apoptosis in esophageal cancer cells. Together, our results indicate that C1GalT1 is a major determinant of radioresistance via modulation of β1-integrin glycosylation. C1GalT1 may be a potent molecular target for enhancing the efficacy of radiotherapy.

Keywords: C1GalT1, esophageal cancer, radioresistance, β1-integrin, glycosylation

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How to cite this article:
Zhang C, Deng X, Qiu L, Peng F, Geng S, Shen L, Luo Z. Knockdown of C1GalT1 inhibits radioresistance of human esophageal cancer cells through modifying β1-integrin glycosylation. J Cancer 2018; 9(15):2666-2677. doi:10.7150/jca.25252. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v09p2666.htm