Importance of Sugar Chains in the Function of Growth Factor Receptors

  • Yoshitaka Ikeda


Growth of normal cells in our body is strictly controlled on demand, and proceeds, e.g., under conditions of wound healing and recovery from inflammation of tissues. Usually, normal cells do not freely grow without appropriate external signals. Such signals are often mediated by proteins known as growth factors. Although these proteins cannot translocate across the plasma membrane, integral membrane receptor proteins receive the extracellular signals through binding growth factors and transmit the signal of growth into the intracellular space. Many receptor proteins are glycosylated, and the addition of sugar chains appears to confer expression of functional receptors. If the receptors do not correctly trigger transmembrane signaling, the proteins may instead activate the intracellular signaling pathways, in spite of the absence of an extracellular signal, causing abnormal cell growth. Thus, loss of normal receptor function could lead to a malignant alteration of cells.


Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Extracellular Signal Sugar Chain Functional Receptor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Tsuda T, Ikeda Y, Taniguchi N (2000) The Asn-420-linked sugar chain in human epidermal growth factor receptor suppresses ligand-independent spontaneous oligomerization. Possible role of a specific sugar chain in controllable receptor activation. J Biol Chem 275:21988–21994PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Wang XQ, Sun P, O’Gorman M et al (2001) Epidermal growth factor receptor glycosylation is required for ganglioside GM3 binding and GM3-mediated suppression [correction of suppression] of activation. Glycobiology 11:515–522PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshitaka Ikeda
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Molecular Cell Biology, Department of Biomolecular SciencesSaga University, Faculty of MedicineSagaJapan

Personalised recommendations