Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Cell membrane glycoconjugates undergo characteristic changes as a consequence of neoplastic transformation. The cancer-associated carbohydrate structures play key roles in cancer progression by altering the cell-cell and cell-environment interactions. In this review, we will discuss some of the most relevant cancer-associated carbohydrate structures, including the β1,6-branching of N-linked chains, the sialyl Lewis antigens, the α2,6-sialylated lactosamine, the Thomsen-Friedenreich-related antigens and gangliosides. We will describe the mechanisms leading to the expression of these structures and their interactions with sugar binding molecules, such as selectins and galectins. Finally, we will discuss how the glycosylation machinery of the cell is controlled by signal transduction pathways, epigenetic mechanisms and responds to hypoxia.