In metastatic melanoma, with a dismal survival rate and propensity for treatment resistance and recurrence, it is critical to establish biomarkers that better predict treatment response and disease severity. The melanoma glycome, composed of complex carbohydrates termed glycans, is an under investigated area of research though is gaining momentum in the cancer biomarker and therapeutics field. Novel findings suggest that glycans play a major role in influencing melanoma progression and could be exploited for prognosticating metastatic activity and/or as therapeutic targets. In this review, we discuss the role of aberrant glycosylation, particularly the specialized function of β1,6 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 2 (GCNT2), in melanoma pathogenesis and summarize mechanisms of GCNT2 regulation to illuminate its potential as a predictive marker and therapeutic target.
M Perez, A Chakraborty, L S Lau, N B B Mohammed, C J Dimitroff