Expression and characteristics of a novel human osteosarcoma-associated cell surface antigen

Cancer Res. 1988 Sep 15;48(18):5302-9.


The characteristics of a new osteosarcoma-associated cell surface antigen were studied by means of two murine monoclonal antibodies, TP-1 and TP-3, which were found to bind to two different epitopes on the same antigen, a monomeric polypeptide with a molecular weight of approximately 80,000. Immunohistochemical studies showed that the antigen was present in all osteogenic sarcomas tested, in most cases of malignant fibrous histiocytoma, in two malignant hemangiopericytomas and in a few synovial sarcomas, but not in other main groups of sarcomas and nonsarcomatous malignancies. In normal tissues it was detected only in clusters of cells in the adrenal medulla and in proximal kidney tubules. Also endothelial cells in proliferating capillaries in placenta and in most tumors were stained. The antigen was absent in resting but present in actively proliferating osteoblastic cells. The epitopes were resistant to proteolytic and sugar-cleaving enzymes but sensitive to high temperatures and could not be detected in paraffin-embedded specimens. The tissue distribution and properties of the antigen show that it is different from the sarcoma-associated antigens previously studied. In contrast to previous findings with three other anti-sarcoma monoclonal antibodies, no correlation was found between serum alkaline phosphatase activity and the amount of TP-binding substances in the same sera. Nevertheless, an apparently complex association between alkaline phosphatase and the TP-binding antigen seems to exist. Thus, the Mr 80,000 antigen extracted from an osteosarcoma cell line showed enzyme activity, whereas TP-binding molecules precipitated from patient sera contained alkaline phosphatase activity only in a few of the cases studied. Altogether our data suggest that the antigen defined by the TP antibodies may be a marker of osteoblastic differentiation. The pattern of antigen expression in malignant tumors is unique, inasmuch as the antigen is found selectively in sarcomas and in all 31 osteosarcomas tested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Medulla / analysis
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Surface / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Epitopes / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / analysis
  • Molecular Weight
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteosarcoma / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Epitopes