This is a re-submission of a proposal to gain an understanding about the nature of the hyper-fucosylation of glycoproteins associated with primary human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Compared to healthy individuals, the circulation of people with HCC contains an abundance of glycoproteins with fucosylation at their N-glycan cores. Little is known about why this modification is so elevated, if it relates to protein function and/or plays a role in disease. There is even uncertainty about whether or not it is the cancer cells that are producing the fucosylated glycoforms. This modified application will systematically determine which cells are producing three "sentinel" hyper-fucosylated glycoproteins, as well as the functional consequences of fucosylation, in comparative studies with fucosylated and unfucosylated glycoforms. The proteins hemopexin, kininogen and GP73, each determined to correlate in the fucosylated glycoform with HCC, are chosen to represent different categories. In doing this, the important hypothesis that fucosylation plays a role in directing the sorting of hepatocytes glycoproteins will also be tested. The results of this work are thus intended to answer the fundamental question as to why fucosylation seems to be a common feature in HCC and help in developing early detection and possibly therapeutic interventions.
By proteins detected in the blood of people with a diagnosis of liver cancer contain the sugar, fucose. Understanding why will help in the development of new diagnostic methods, as well as provide clues for development of new therapies.
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