Human single-chain antibodies reactive with native chondroitin sulfate detect chondroitin sulfate alterations in melanoma and psoriasis

J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Mar;122(3):707-16. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-202X.2004.22316.x.


Chondroitin sulfate (CS) belongs to the group of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are linear polysaccharides, located in the extracellular matrix and on the cell surface. To study the structure and distribution of CS in human skin and skin disorders, we have selected antibodies using phage display technique against CS. Four unique human anti-CS single-chain antibodies were selected: IO3D9, IO3H10, IO3H12, and IO4C2. We determined their amino acid sequence and evaluated their CS reactivity using ELISA and immunohistochemistry. Antibodies were reactive with CS, but not with other GAGs except for IO4C2, which was also reactive with heparin. Antibody IO3D9 showed a strong reactivity with highly sulfated CS (CSE). All antibodies displayed a different staining pattern in rat kidney, indicating the recognition of unique CS epitopes. In normal skin, the papillary dermis but not the reticular dermis was strongly stained. Antibody IO3H12 also stained basal keratinocytes. We applied these antibodies to study CS expression and localization in melanoma and psoriasis. A strong immunoreactivity with the extracellular matrix of melanoma metastases could be observed for all four antibodies, while in atypical nevi a less extensive reactivity with only the papillary dermis was observed. In psoriatic lesions, CS could be observed in the papillary dermis and in the reticular dermis, whereas the specific location in the papillary dermis found in normal skin was completely lost. In conclusion, human phage-display-derived anti-CS antibodies have been selected, characterized, and applied to detect CS alterations in skin conditions. Altered CS composition was detected in melanoma and psoriasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / analysis
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / chemistry
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / immunology*
  • Epitopes
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / chemistry*
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Psoriasis / metabolism*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin / chemistry


  • Antibodies
  • Epitopes
  • Chondroitin Sulfates