• Open Access

B3GNT3 expression suppresses cell migration and invasion and predicts favorable outcomes in neuroblastoma



Aberrant expression of the simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens such as T, Tn, sialyl-T and sialyl-Tn is associated with poor prognosis in several cancers. β1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-3 (B3GNT3), a member of the β3GlcNAcT family, is responsible for forming extended core 1 (T antigen) oligosaccharides. The role of B3GNT3, which is expressed in various tissues including human fetal brain, in regulating neuroblastoma (NB) formation and cell behaviors remains unclear. Here, we showed that increased B3GNT3 expression evaluated using immunohistochemistry in NB tumor tissues correlated well with the histological grade of differentiation as well as a favorable Shimada's subset of pathology. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that positive B3GNT3 expression in tumor tissues predicted a favorable prognosis in NB patients independent of other prognostic markers. B3GNT3 overexpression suppresses T antigen formation and malignant phenotypes including migration and invasion of SK-N-SH cells, whereas B3GNT3 knockdown enhances these phenotypes of SK-N-SH cells. Moreover, B3GNT3 expression decreased phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), Src, paxillin, Akt and ERK1/2. We conclude that B3GNT3 predicts a favorable cancer behavior of NB and suppresses malignant phenotypes by modulating mucin-type O-glycosylation and signaling in NB cells.