Differential Roles of Mammalian Sialidases in Cancers

  • Taeko MiyagiEmail author


Aberrant sialylation has been implicated in malignant properties including invasiveness and metastasis. To cast light on the causes and the consequences of such alteration, our studies have focused on mammalian sialidases, which regulate the cellular sialic acid content by catalyzing the removal of sialic acid residues from glycoproteins and glycolipids. There are four types of mammalian sialidases, designated as NEU1, NEU2, NEU3, and NEU4, encoded by different genes differing in their major subcellular localization and enzymatic properties. Each has been found to play a unique role depending on its particular properties and to behave in a particular manner in cancers. Sialidases are involved in regulation of various signaling pathways critical to normal homeostasis and control of proliferation, differentiation, cell adhesion, and motility, so that dysregulation can contribute to tumor initiation, promotion, and progression. Human sialidases, thus, may provide potential targets for cancer diagnosis and therapy. The present review briefly summarizes our recent results on aberrant expression and roles of mammalian sialidases in cancers.


Sialidase Sialic acid Cancer Progression Invasion Metastasis Ganglioside Glycoprotein Transmembrane signaling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cancer Glycosylation ResearchTohoku Pharmaceutical UniversitySendaiJapan

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