Monoclonal antibodies directed to chemically synthesized lactogangliotetraosylceramide, a leukemia-associated antigen having a novel branching structure

J Biol Chem. 1987 Jan 25;262(3):1358-62.


Murine leukemia cells (M1), in their undifferentiated state, have been characterized by the presence of cancer-associated lactoganglio-series glycolipids, one of which was identified as lactogangliotetraosylceramide (LcGg4) having a novel branching at the II-Gal of lactosylceramide through GlcNAc beta 1----3 and GalNAc beta 1----4 linkage, as shown below (Kannagi, R., Levery, S.B., and Hakomori, S. (1984) J. Biol. Chem., 259, 8444-8451): GalNAc beta 1----4 Gal beta 1----4Glc beta 1----1Cer GlcNac beta 1----3 Since this glycolipid is a very minor component, it has been difficult to obtain enough of the purified glycolipid for the preparation of a monoclonal antibody. We developed a method to chemically synthesize this glycolipid using a lactose unit, a ceramide unit, and two hexosamine donors as synthons and made the synthetic glycolipid available as an immunogen. The two monoclonal antibodies we obtained (YI328-18 and YI328-51, both IgG3) specifically recognized the novel branching structure and had no cross-reactivity with gangliotriaosylceramide or lactotriaosylceramide. Thus, the antibodies were found to be useful probes to detect lactogangliotetraosylceramide expressed in undifferentiated M1 leukemia cells, which disappears on induced differentiation. The results of this study indicate a new strategy to establish monoclonal antibody directed to novel minor glycolipid markers or their artificially designed analogs, employing chemically synthesized glycolipid antigens.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Gangliosides / chemical synthesis
  • Gangliosides / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Experimental / immunology*
  • Mice


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Gangliosides
  • lactogangliotetraosylceramide