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Received January 16, 2015; Revision received April 1, 2015
Gangliosides are essential compounds of the plasma membrane involved in cell adhesion, proliferation, and recognition processes, as well as in the modulation of signal transduction pathways. These functions are mainly supported by the glycan moiety, and changes in the structure of gangliosides occur under pathological conditions including cancers. With progress in mass spectrometric analysis of gangliosides, the role of gangliosides in breast cancer progression was recently demonstrated. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the biosynthesis of gangliosides and of the role of disialogangliosides in triple-negative breast cancer progression and metastasis. New perspectives in breast cancer therapy targeting gangliosides are also discussed.
KEY WORDS: gangliosides, breast cancer, mass spectrometry, metastasis, c-Met, GD3 synthase