N-glycosylation affects the adhesive function of E-Cadherin through modifying the composition of adherens junctions (AJs) in human breast carcinoma cell line MDA-MB-435.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, 138 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Shanghai 200032, PR China.
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.37). 06/2008; 104(1):162-75. DOI: 10.1002/jcb.21608
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT E-cadherin mediates calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion between epithelial cells. The ectodomain of human E-cadherin contains four potential N-glycosylation sites at Asn residues 554, 566, 618, and 633. In this study, the role of N-glycosylation in E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion was investigated by site-directed mutagenesis. In MDA-MB-435 cells, all four potential N-glycosylation sites of human E-cadherin were N-glycosylated. Removal of N-glycan at Asn-633 dramatically affected E-cadherin stability. In contrast, mutant E-cadherin lacking the other three N-glycans showed similar protein stability in comparison with wild-type E-cadherin. Moreover, N-glycans at Asn-554 and Asn-566 were found to affect E-cadherin-mediated calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion, and removal of either of the two N-glycans caused a significant decrease in calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion accompanied with elevated cell migration. Analysis of the composition of adherens junctions (AJs) revealed that removal of N-glycans on E-cadherin resulted in elevated tyrosine phosphorylation level of beta-catenin and reduced beta- and alpha-catenins at AJs. These findings demonstrate that N-glycosylation may affect the adhesive function of E-cadherin through modifying the composition of AJs.

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