Use of O-glycosylation-defective human lymphoid cell lines and flow cytometry to delineate the specificity of Moluccella laevis lectin and monoclonal antibody 5F4 for the Tn antigen (GalNAc alpha 1-O-Ser/Thr)

Immunol Lett. 1993 Jun;36(3):239-43. doi: 10.1016/0165-2478(93)90095-j.


The Tn antigen (GalNAc alpha 1-O-Ser/Thr) is a disease-related O-linked (mucin-type) carbohydrate neoantigen which is expressed in idiopathic Tn syndrome, AIDS, T-cell lymphoma and in many carcinomas. In the present study, we took advantage of a Tn antigen expressing T-lymphocyte clone derived from a patient with the idiopathic form of the Tn syndrome and the Tn+ Jurkat cell line to characterize new reagents that should identify Tn antigens (monoclonal antibody 5F4 and a lectin newly isolated from Moluccella laevis seeds). Flow cytometry revealed that both reagents strongly bound to Tn antigen expressing T lymphocytes but not to normal donor T cells, which are Tn negative. In contrast to mAb 5F4, Moluccella laevis lectin weakly bound to normal donor cells after sialidase pretreatment, indicating its broader specificity. N-Acetyl-D-galactosamine at a concentration of 100 mM significantly reduced antibody binding and abolished lectin binding, completely demonstrating the sugar specificity of both reagents. These reagents should be useful tools in glycobiology and for clinical purposes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibody Specificity*
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate / immunology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Lectins / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Plant Lectins
  • Plants / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / enzymology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
  • Lectins
  • Plant Lectins
  • Tn antigen