Published online May 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i20.6123
Revised: November 30, 2013
Accepted: February 16, 2014
Published online: May 28, 2014
Aberrant expression of glycoconjugates occurs during malignant transformation of cancer cells. Overexpression of sialoglycoconjugates in particular may play an important role in the progression, i.e., invasion or metastasis, of cancer. Various types of sialoglycoconjugates have been investigated to clarify their biological significance and clinical utility in diagnosing and treating colorectal cancer. This review focuses specifically on expression of mucin (MUC) 1 and it suggests that MUC1 with the specific structure of a sialo-oligosaccharide has biological significance in determining the metastatic potential of colorectal cancer cells and clinicopathological utility in evaluating the effectiveness of treatments and the prognosis for patients with colorectal cancer. Further studies are expected to contribute to the expanded use of cancer-associated sialoglycoconjugates in cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Core tip: Many types of cancer-associated sialoglycoconjugates are produced during oncogenesis or in various stages of malignant transformation. Aberrant expression of sialoglycoconjugates has been evaluated in many histochemical and molecular biological studies. An overview of the current knowledge is crucial to understand its clinicopathological utility in diagnosing and treating colorectal cancer. The biological significance of sialoglycoconjugates in the progression of cancer is also discussed. This review may contribute to expanding the use of cancer-associated sialoglycoconjugates in cancer diagnosis and therapy.