Aberrant protein glycosylation: Implications on diagnosis and Immunotherapy

Rashmi Bangarh, Chainika Khatana, Simranjeet Kaur, Anchita Sharma, Ankur Kaushal, Samarjeet Singh Siwal, Hardeep Singh Tuli, Kuldeep Dhama, Vijay Kumar Thakur*, Reena V Saini, Adesh K Saini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
127 Downloads (Pure)


Glycosylation-mediated post-translational modification is critical for regulating many fundamental processes like cell division, differentiation, immune response, and cell-to-cell interaction. Alterations in the N-linked or O-linked glycosylation pattern of regulatory proteins like transcription factors or cellular receptors lead to many diseases, including cancer. These alterations give rise to micro- and macro-heterogeneity in tumor cells. Here, we review the role of O- and N-linked glycosylation and its regulatory function in autoimmunity and aberrant glycosylation in cancer. The change in cellular glycome could result from a change in the expression of glycosidases or glycosyltransferases like N-acetyl-glucosaminyl transferase V, FUT8, ST6Gal-I, DPAGT1, etc., impact the glycosylation of target proteins leading to transformation. Moreover, the mutations in glycogenes affect glycosylation patterns on immune cells leading to other related manifestations like pro- or anti-inflammatory effects. In recent years, understanding the glycome to cancer indicates that it can be utilized for both diagnosis/prognosis as well as immunotherapy. Studies involving mass spectrometry of proteome, site- and structure-specific glycoproteomics, or transcriptomics/genomics of patient samples and cancer models revealed the importance of glycosylation homeostasis in cancer biology. The development of emerging technologies, such as the lectin microarray, has facilitated research on the structure and function of glycans and glycosylation. Newly developed devices allow for high-throughput, high-speed, and precise research on aberrant glycosylation. This paper also discusses emerging technologies and clinical applications of glycosylation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108149
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Early online date6 Apr 2023
Publication statusPrint publication - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.


  • Cancer
  • glycans
  • Glycosylation
  • immunotherapy
  • Metastasis
  • Multi-omics


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