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BACKGROUND: Signet ring cell carcinoma (SRC) is a distinct subtype of gastric cancer (GC); however, the specific characteristics of cancer cell surface glycans and glycosylation remain unclear. In this study, we investigated SRC-specific glycans using lectin microarray and evaluated the potential applicability of a glycan-targeting therapy. METHODS: SRC cell lines (NUGC-4 and KATO-III) and non-SRC (NSRC) cell lines (NCI-N87, SNU-1, and MKN-45) were subjected to lectin microarray analysis to identify the SRC-specific glycans. Additionally, we performed immunohistochemical lectin staining and evaluated the anti-tumor effects of lectin drug conjugates (LDCs) using high-affinity lectins for SRC. RESULTS: Among the 96 lectins tested, 11 high-affinity and 8 low-affinity lectins were identified for SRC. Glycan-binding motifs varied in the high-affinity lectins, but 5 (62.5%) low-affinity lectins bound the same glycan structure, α2-6-linked sialic acids. The ratio of signal intensity in SRC to NSRC (SRC/NSRC) was highest in the rBC2LCN lectin (1.930-fold), followed by the BPL lectin (1.786-fold). rBC2LCN lectin showed high affinity for both SRC cell lines and one of the three NSRC cell lines (NCI-N87). The therapeutic effects of the LDC, rBC2LCN-PE38 (rBC2LCN, and Pseudomonas exotoxin A), showed cytocidal effects in vitro and tumor regression in in vivo mouse xenograft models. CONCLUSION: We reported specific glycan profiles in SRC cells, showing reduced α2-6-linked sialic acids. Additionally, we found a targeted therapy using rBC2LCN lectin might be applicable as an alternative treatment option for patients with SRC.

Original publication




Journal article


Gastric Cancer

Publication Date





896 - 905


Gastric cancer, Glycan, Lectin, Signet ring cell carcinoma, Animals, Carcinoma, Signet Ring Cell, Humans, Lectins, Mice, Polysaccharides, Sialic Acids, Stomach Neoplasms