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    Intrabodies against the Polysialyltransferases ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV inhibit Polysialylation of NCAM in rhabdomyosarcoma tumor cells.

    BMC Biotechnol 2017 05 12;17(1):42. Epub 2017 May 12.
    Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Structural and Functional Protein Research, Inhoffenstraße 7, D-38124, Braunschweig, Germany.
    Background: Polysialic acid (polySia) is a carbohydrate modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), which is implicated in neural differentiation and plays an important role in tumor development and metastasis. Polysialylation of NCAM is mediated by two Golgi-resident polysialyltransferases (polyST) ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV. Intracellular antibodies (intrabodies; IB) expressed inside the ER and retaining proteins passing the ER such as cell surface receptors or secretory proteins provide an efficient means of protein knockdown. To inhibit the function of ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV specific ER IBs were generated starting from two corresponding hybridoma clones. Both IBs αST8SiaII-IB and αST8SiaIV-IB were constructed in the scFv format and their functions characterized in vitro and in vivo.

    Results: IBs directed against the polySTs prevented the translocation of the enzymes from the ER to the Golgi-apparatus. Co-immunoprecipitation of ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV with the corresponding IBs confirmed the intracellular interaction with their cognate antigens. In CHO cells overexpressing ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV, respectively, the transfection with αST8SiaII-IB or αST8SiaIV-IB inhibited significantly the cell surface expression of polysialylated NCAM. Furthermore stable expression of ST8SiaII-IB, ST8SiaIV-IB and luciferase in the rhabdomyosarcoma cell line TE671 reduced cell surface expression of polySia and delayed tumor growth if cells were xenografted into C57BL/6 J RAG-2 mice.

    Conclusion: Data obtained strongly indicate that αST8SiaII-IB and αST8SiaIV-IB are promising experimental tools to analyze the individual role of the two enzymes during brain development and during migration and proliferation of tumor cells.
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