Cancer-Associated Carbohydrate Antigens in Mucins

  • John L. Magnani
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 228)


Many monoclonal antibodies which detect differentiation or cancer-associated antigens are directed against carbohydrates. Of about 500 monoclonal antibodies that we have obtained from different laboratories, 124 bind carbohydrates. We have determined the carbohydrate structure of the epitope for 93 of these antibodies. Most tumor markers of gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancer are sialylated oligosaccharides found in mucins in patient ’ss era. Some of theseoligosaccharides, such assialylated Le a (19–9), are found in both glycolipids (1) and mucins (2 ) Determining the structure o f this particular antigen has been helpful in evaluating its genetic distribution in cancer patients. As predicted by the Lewis blood group association of this structure , Le(-) individuals lack this antigen, Le(b+) individuals synthesize low or undetectable levels, while Le (a +) individuals systhesize high level soft his antigen (3 ). This knowledge helps improve the reliability of current assays for 19–9 in patients' sera.


Pancreatic Cancer Tumor Marker Undetectable Level Carbohydrate Antigen Covalent Attachment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John L. Magnani
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Structural Biology, NIDDKNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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