Sialic Acid Analysis in Colorectal Cancer

Sialic Acid Analysis in Colorectal Cancer

Sialic acid is a biomarker of systemic inflammation. Sialylation changes are associated with metastatic spread and treatment failure in colorectal cancer. CD BioGlyco has developed several efficient Strategies for Sialic Acid Analysis that are used in colorectal cancer research, including Sialic Acid Analysis by LC-MS, Sialic Acid-Specific Bio-Affinity Strategies, and more.

Overview of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common malignancies in the world and the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death. There are approximately 1-2 million new cases of colorectal cancer and 700,000 colorectal cancer deaths each year. The risk of developing colorectal cancer is closely related to age, chronic medical history, and lifestyle habits. Primary prevention and cancer screening remain key strategies for preventing colorectal cancer. Despite significant progress in the early diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer, more than half of patients with advanced colorectal cancer still die from cancer recurrence.

Sialic Acid in Colorectal Cancer

Glycosylation is a post-translational modification in which glycosyl moieties are transferred to specific amino acid residues in proteins by glycosyltransferases to form glycosidic bonds. Aberrant glycosylation has become a fundamental feature of cancer cells and plays an important role in cancer pathogenesis, especially in the later stages of invasion and metastasis. The most widely occurring cancer-related changes in glycosylation include sialylation, fucosylation, O-glycan truncation, and N- and O-linked glycan branching. Aberrant sialylation, one of the most common changes in glycosylation in cancer, is either upregulation of sialyltransferase or downregulation of sialidase, resulting in excess sialic acid on the cell surface. Sialic acid accumulation contributes to immune evasion, reduced efficacy of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and tumor metastasis.

 Sialic acids in cancer.Fig.1 Sialic acids in cancer. (Pearce, 2016)

Sialylation of glycoproteins is modified by different sialyltransferases, such as ST3Gal (β-galactoside α2,3-sialyltransferase), ST6Gal (β-galactoside α2,6-sialyltransferase) and ST6GalNAc (N-acetylgalactosaminide α2,6-sialyltransferase). Studies have shown that increased ST6Gal I and subsequently elevated levels of cell surface α2,6-linked sialic acid are associated with metastatic spread and treatment failure in colorectal cancer. When high concentrations of sialic acids are present in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, these sialic acids are displayed on the cell surface, secreted as glycoproteins, and present in cellular secretions such as mucins. In the study of colorectal cancer, Sialic Acids Specific Lectin and lectin blotting are used to identify plasma glycoprotein profiles of colorectal cancer biomarkers.

To help researchers better analyze aberrant sialylation in cancers, CD BioGlyco has developed a complete set of strategies for sialic acid analysis. The strategies have been recognized by researchers from many countries. if you have an analysis project of sialic acid in colorectal cancer at the moment, please feel free to contact us, our experts will develop a personalized experimental plan according to each of your specific needs.


  1. Pearce, O.M.; Läubli, H. Sialic acids in cancer biology and immunity. Glycobiology. 2016, 26(2): 111-128.
  2. Holst, S.; et al. Glycosylation characteristics of colorectal cancer. Advances in cancer research. 2015, 126: 203-256.
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