UDP-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase- 6 (pp-GalNAc-T6): Role in Cancer and Prospects as a Drug Target

Author(s): Samantha Banford, David J. Timson

Journal Name: Current Cancer Drug Targets

Volume 17 , Issue 1 , 2017

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Graphical Abstract:


UDP-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine: polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyl transferase-6 (pp-GalNAc-T6) is a member of the N-acetyl-D-galactosamine transferase family. It catalyzes the addition of N-acetyl-D-galactosamine to proteins, often the first step in O-glycosylation of proteins. Glycosylated proteins play important roles in vivo in the cell membrane. These are often involved in cell-cell adhesion, cytoskeleton regulation and immune recognition. pp-GalNAc-T6 has been shown to be upregulated in a number of types of cancer. Abnormally glycosylated forms of mucin 1 (a substrate of the enzyme), are used clinically as a biomarker for breast cancer. There is potential for other products of the pp-GalNAc- T6 catalyzed reaction to be used. It is also possible that pp-GalNAc-T6 itself could be used as a biomarker, since levels of this protein tend to be low in non-malignant tissues. pp- GalNAc-T6 has been implicated in malignant transformation and metastasis of cancer cells. As such, it has considerable potential as a target for chemotherapy. To date, no selective inhibitors of the enzyme have been identified. However, general inhibitors of the enzyme family result in reduced cell surface O-linked glycosylation and induce apoptosis in cultured cells. Thus, a selective inhibitor of pp-GalNAc-T6 is likely to target cancer cells and could be developed into a novel anticancer therapy.

Keywords: UDP-GalNAc, UDP-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase-6, cancer, metastasis, biomarker, GALNT6.

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Article Details

Year: 2017
Page: [53 - 61]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1568009616666160922102641
Price: $65

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