Each stage of melanoma development from transformed melanocytes to metastatic lesions requires the involvement of cell adhesion receptors, among which integrins are of particular importance. Strong N-glycosylation of αβ integrin heterodimers influences their processing, activation, and functions related to the modulation of cell adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins (ECM) and the basement membrane. A lack of N-glycans on integrin chains significantly reduces their interactions with the ECM. Melanoma progression is accompanied by changes in the composition of N-glycans on integrin subunits. The glycosylation profile of integrins depends on the stage of melanoma development and on the location of the metastasis. Enhanced expression of β1,6-branched complex-type oligosaccharides and altered sialylation are well-characterized changes in the N-glycosylation of integrins observed in melanoma progression. This chapter summarizes the current state of knowledge about α3β1, α5β1, and αvβ3 integrin glycosylation in melanoma and the functional consequences of changed glycosylation for the development of this cancer.
Part of the book: Human Skin Cancer, Potential Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets