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Biomolecules 2016, 6(2), 26;

A Bitter Sweet Symphony: Immune Responses to Altered O-glycan Epitopes in Cancer

Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, 1081 HZ, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Franz-Georg Hanisch
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 20 April 2016 / Accepted: 22 April 2016 / Published: 3 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer and Glycosylation)
PDF [2865 KB, uploaded 3 May 2016]


The appearance of aberrant glycans on the tumor cell surface is one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer. Glycosylation is an important post-translation modification of proteins and lipids and is strongly affected by oncogenesis. Tumor-associated glycans have been extensively characterized regarding their composition and tumor-type specific expression patterns. Nevertheless whether and how tumor-associated glycans contribute to the observed immunomodulatory actions by tumors has not been extensively studied. Here, we provide a detailed overview of the current knowledge on how tumor-associated O-glycans affect the anti-tumor immune response, thereby focusing on truncated O-glycans present on epithelial tumors and mucins. These tumor-associated O-glycans and mucins bind a variety of lectin receptors on immune cells to facilitate the subsequently induction of tolerogenic immune responses. We, therefore, postulate that tumor-associated glycans not only support tumor growth, but also actively contribute to immune evasion. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; O-glycosylation; immunity; Siglec; C-type lectin cancer; O-glycosylation; immunity; Siglec; C-type lectin

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Cornelissen, L.A.; Van Vliet, S.J. A Bitter Sweet Symphony: Immune Responses to Altered O-glycan Epitopes in Cancer. Biomolecules 2016, 6, 26.

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