Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 7, pp 677–685 | Cite as

Effects of cell surface α2-3 sialic acid on osteogenesis

  • Lan Xu
  • Wei Xu
  • Guiying Xu
  • Zhi Jiang
  • Lei Zheng
  • Yinghui Zhou
  • Wenxiang Wei
  • Shiliang Wu


A cell culture model of osteoblast differentiation was applied in our study of the effect of sialic acid on the osteogenesis by using the pre-osteoblast of MC3T3-E1 subclone 14 cells. Following the treatment of different concentrations of α2,3-neuraminidase, which specifically removed the α2-3 sialic acid from cell surface, a significant decrease of α2-3 sialic acid was detected with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled Maackia amurensis lectin (MAL-II) by flow cytometry analysis. von Kossa staining showed that the bone mineralization decreased in MC3T3-E1 subclone 14 cells after the treatment of α2,3-neuraminidase for 2 weeks. However α2,3-neuraminidase did not affect the formation of osteoblasts in MC3T3-E1 subclone 14 cells, which was demonstrated by positive alkaline phosphatase (ALP)-staining. Characteristic biological markers and osteoblast-like cell-related factors of osteoblastic cells were also examined. Both RT-PCR and Western blot analysis demonstrated that the expression of bone sialoprotein (BSP), osteoprotegerin (OPG), and vitamin D receptor (VDR) were significantly decreased when α2-3 sialic acid expression decreased on the cell surface, while the expression of osteocalcin (OC) and osteopontin (OPN) remained unchanged. We propose a hypothesis that α2-3 sialic acid affects bone mineralization but not osteogenic differentiation.


MC3T3-E1 subclone 14 Osteoblasts α2-3 sialic acid α2,3-neuraminidase 



Sialic acid


Maackia amurensis leukoagglutinin II


Alkaline phosphatase






Bone sialoprotein




Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction


Colony forming unit-fibroblast


Extracellular matrix


Bone morphogenetic protein


Vitamin D receptor



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (K113408511, 30670462, 81172347), the Innovation Project of National Undergraduate Students of China, and the Innovation Project of Soochow University of China (5731515911).


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of MedicineSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  2. 2.Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, School of MedicineSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology, School of MedicineSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Cell Biology, School of MedicineSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina

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