ARTICLE ABSTRACTMalignant transformation is associated with aberrant N-glycosylation, but the role of protein N-glycosylation in cancer progression remains poorly defined. β4-integrin is a major carrier of N-glycans and is associated with poor prognosis, tumorigenesis, and metastasis. Here, N-glycosylation of β4-integrin contributes to the activation of signaling pathways that promote β4-dependent tumor development and progression. Increased expression of β1,6GlcNAc-branched N-glycans was found to be colocalized with β4-integrin in human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma tissues, and that the β1,6GlcNAc residue was abundant on β4-integrin in transformed keratinocytes. Interruption of β1,6GlcNAc-branching formation on β4-integrin with the introduction of bisecting GlcNAc by N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III overexpression was correlated with suppression of cancer cell migration and tumorigenesis. N-Glycan deletion on β4-integrin impaired β4-dependent cancer cell migration, invasion, and growth in vitro and diminished tumorigenesis and proliferation in vivo. The reduced abilities of β4-integrin were accompanied with decreased phosphoinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signals and were restored by the overexpression of the constitutively active p110 PI3K subunit. Binding of galectin-3 to β4-integrin via β1,6GlcNAc-branched N-glycans promoted β4-integrin–mediated cancer cell adhesion and migration. In contrast, a neutralizing antibody against galectin-3 attenuated β4-integrin N-glycan–mediated PI3K activation and inhibited the ability of β4-integrin to promote cell motility. Furthermore, galectin-3 knockdown by shRNA suppressed β4-integrin N-glycan–mediated tumorigenesis. These findings provide a novel role for N-glycosylation of β4-integrin in tumor development and progression, and the regulatory mechanism for β4-integrin/PI3K signaling via the galectin-3–N-glycan complex.Implications: N-Glycosylation of β4-integrin plays a functional role in promoting tumor development and progression through PI3K activation via the galectin-3–N-glycan complex. Mol Cancer Res; 16(6); 1024–34. ©2018 AACR.