Complex carbohydrates, which are major components of the cell membrane, perform important functions in cell–cell and cell–extracellular matrix interactions, as well as in signal transduction. They comprise three kinds of biomolecules: glycoproteins, proteoglycans and glycosphingolipids. Recent studies have also shown that glycan changes in malignant cells take a variety of forms and mediate key pathophysiological events during the various stages of tumour progression. Glycosylation changes are universal hallmarks of malignant transformation and tumour progression in human cancer, which take place on the whole cells or some specific molecules. Accordingly, those changes make them prominent candidates for cancer biomarkers in the meantime. This review mainly focuses on the correlation between glycosylation and the metastasis potential of tumour cells from comprehensive aspects to further address the vital roles of glycans in oncogenesising. Moreover, utilizing these glycosylation changes to ward off tumour metastasis by means of anti-adhesion approach or devising anti-cancer vaccine is one of promising targets of future study.
Volume 45, 2020
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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