Abnormal Accumulation of Glycogen and Altered Glycosylation in Brain Tumors

Kayli Bolton, Dr. Matthew Gentry, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506

In 2020, it is expected that 87,240 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumor. In the United States, it is expected that 700,000 people are living with a brain tumor. Nearly 1/5 of the people expected to receive a brain cancer diagnosis will die while fighting that cancer, and those who do live are at a higher probability of living with impaired cognition and physical health. The composition of brain tumors is both diverse and complex, and these qualities cause them to be difficult to diagnose and treat efficiently. Two characteristics that have been connected to the progression of brain cancer are abnormal accumulation of glycogen and altered glycosylation. Glycogen is the main storage form of glucose and as such, acts as an energy currency for the body. Glycosylation is a modification where sugars called glycans are attached to biomolecules to modulate their structure and function. We used Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI), a powerful tool for the visualization of biomolecules by their molecular mass, and immunohistochemistry with HALO imaging software to analyze sugar composition in brain tumors. The MSI platform is a novel methodology that can be utilized to produce molecular images and collect substantial biochemical information. We conducted a study analyzing the molecular profile of 86 human samples with an initial diagnosis of brain cancer varying from grades I to IV. The results obtained from both techniques suggest that aberrant glycan as well as glycogen accumulation directly correlate to the grade of brain tumors. Taken together, our results indicate a possible link between different sugars and brain tumors and offer a greater insight into the composition of this disabling and deadly disease. Further research into related mechanisms, may lead to the discovery of biomarkers and novel targets for the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors in humans.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Kayli Bolton

Institution: University of Kentucky

Type: Poster

Subject: Biochemistry

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2110