The MUC1 glycoprotein is a transmembrane epithelial mucin normally expressed on the apical surface of most simple glandular epithelial cells. In tumors, MUC1 is overexpressed and distributed all over the cell surface, aberrantly glycosylated, and shed in the tissue microenvironment. MUC1 expressed by breast cancer carries shortened O-glycans such as GalNAca1-O-Ser/Thr (Tn) or Galh1-3GalNAca1-O-Ser/Thr (T, core 1), which may be sialylated to give sialyl-Tn or sialyl-T. Tn glycoform of MUC1 (Tn-MUC1) is a neoantigen interconnected in various tumors. Hostile to Tn-MUC1 CAR T cells exhibited target-specific cytotoxicity and effectively controlled tumor development in xenograft models of T cell leukemia and pancreatic growth.
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