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Nutrient stress alters the glycosylation status of LGR5 resulting in reduced protein stability and membrane localisation in colorectal tumour cells: implications for targeting cancer stem cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Early online date22 Jan 2015
DateAccepted/In press - 22 Dec 2014
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2015
DatePublished (current) - 17 Feb 2015



LGR5 is an important marker of intestinal stem cells and performs its vital functions at the cell membrane. Despite the importance of LGR5 to both normal and cancer stem cell biology, it is not known how microenvironmental stress affects the expression and subcellular distribution of the protein.


Nutrient stress was induced through glucose starvation. Glycosylation status was assessed using endoglycosidase or tunicamycin treatment. Flow cytometry and confocal microscopy were used to assess subcellular distribution of LGR5.


Glucose deprivation altered the glycosylation status of LGR5 resulting in reduced protein stability and cell surface expression. Furthermore, inhibiting LGR5 glycosylation resulted in depleted surface expression and reduced localisation in the cis-Golgi network.


Nutrient stress within a tumour microenvironment has the capacity to alter LGR5 protein stability and membrane localisation through modulation of LGR5 glycosylation status. As LGR5 surface localisation is required for enhanced Wnt signalling, this is the first report to show a mechanism by which the microenvironment could affect LGR5 function.

    Research areas

  • LGR5, glycosylation, colorectal cancer, stem cell, nutrient stress, microenvironment

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