Blood group A cross-reacting epitope defined by monoclonal antibodies NCC-LU-35 and -81 expressed in cancer of blood group O or B individuals: its identification as Tn antigen

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Oct;82(20):7039-43. doi: 10.1073/pnas.82.20.7039.


Two monoclonal antibodies, NCC-LU-35 and NCC-LU-81, have been established after immunization of mice with membrane preparations of human lung cancer Lu65 tumor xenograft cells grown in vivo and intact cells cultured in vitro, respectively. These two antibodies react specifically with a majority of human adenocarcinomas, irrespective of the host's blood group ABO status, as well as with normal tissues and erythrocytes of blood group A individuals. The antigenicity is associated with a high molecular weight mucin-like glycoprotein separated by gel filtration of Lu65 tumor extracts. The epitope of the mucin-like glycoprotein has been identified as alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminyl residue directly linked O-glycosidically to serine or threonine residues of polypeptides. This epitope was serologically detected several years ago and given the name Tn. Our identification of the epitope is based on the following results: The antigen is sensitive to alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase, but not to sialidase or alpha-fucosidase. Various mono- and difucosyl A determinants, either type 1 or type 2 chain, cross-react with both antibodies. The reactivity with both antibodies can be created by treatment of glycophorin A of normal erythrocytes with sialidase followed by beta-galactosidase. N-[3H]acetylgalactosamine can be released by galactose oxidase/NaB3H4 treatment from the Lu65 mucin-like glycoprotein but not from the mucin-like glycoprotein of normal colonic mucosa upon reductive beta-elimination (alkaline borohydride treatment). The antigen may be one of the tumor-associated A cross-reacting antigens occurring in a wide variety of human adenocarcinomas of hosts belonging to all ABO blood groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate*
  • Cell Line
  • Epitopes / analysis*
  • Glycolipids / analysis
  • Glycoproteins / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
  • Epitopes
  • Glycolipids
  • Glycoproteins
  • Tn antigen