Overexpression of fucosyltransferase IV promotes A431 cell proliferation through activating MAPK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways



Lewis Y (LeY) is a carbohydrate tumor-asssociated antigen. The majority of cancer cells derived from epithelial tissue express LeY type difucosylated oligosaccharide. Fucosyltransferase IV (FUT4) is an essential enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of LeY oligosaccharide. Our previous studies have shown that FUT4 overexpression promotes A431 cell proliferation, but the mechanism is still largely unknown. Herein, we investigated the role of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathways on FUT4-induced cell proliferation. Results show that overexpression of FUT4 increases the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, and PI3K/Akt. Inhibitors of PI3K (LY294002 and Wortmannin) prevented the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, and Akt PI3K). Moreover, phosphorylation of Akt is abolished by inhibitors of ERK1/2 (PD98059) and p38 MAPK (SB203580). These data suggested that FUT4 not only activates MAPK and PI3K/Akt signals, but also promotes the crosstalk among these signaling pathways. In addition, FUT4-induced stimulation of cell proliferation correlates with increased cell cycle progression by promoting cells into S-phase. The mechanism involves in increased expression of cyclin D1, cyclin E, CDK 2, CDK 4, and pRb, and decreased level of cyclin-dependent kinases inhibitors p21 and p27, which are blocked by the inhibitors of upstream signal molecules, MAPK and PI3K/Akt. In conclusion, these studies suggest that FUT4 regulates A431 cell growth through controlling cell cycle progression via MAPK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. J. Cell. Physiol. 225: 612–619, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.