Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity to human colon-tumour cells. II. Analysis of the antigens involved

J. Shoham, M. Cohen

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3 Scopus citations


The relationship between carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and A antigenic determinants on the cell surface of colon-tumour cells was studied by the ADCC assay. Antiserum prepared in 2 rabbits to an undecapeptide analogous to the amino terminal of CEA(1-11) was found by us either to participate in (Rabbit 2) or specifically inhibit (Rabbit 1) ADCC. The binding spectra of these two antisera and of antiserum to the whole CEA molecule were similar. All of them react with A and non-A colon-tumour cells as well as red blood cells of Type A (RBC-A) and their activity was completely absorbed on RBC-A but not on B or O. O-type, ADCC-reactive human sera always react with A-type colon-tumour cells and RBC-A, and some of them with non-A colon-tumour cells also. The degree of inhibition of their reactivity by anti-CEA(1-11) R1 varied between sera, from none to almost a complete inhibition, and is not related to whether the serum is of cancer or non-cancer origin. Non-reactive O-type sera contain anti-A activity demonstrable by haemagglutination and immunofluorescence. However, they cannot participate in ADCC reaction nor inhibit it. The sera, which contain lymphocyte-dependent antibody to A-type colon-tumour cells, lysed RBC-A, without the addition of lymphocytes or complement, in an immunologically specific way. It is concluded that the reactivity seen in our ADCC system is related to a determinant common to A and CEA (and maybe to other normal cross-reacting antigens) which most probably resides in the amino terminal part of these molecules. This determinant elicits the production of lymphocyte-dependent antibodies in about 50% of people with blood group O. Thus, the amino terminal part of CEA is not a tumour-specific part of the CEA molecule. No specific anti-tumour activity was found in patients' serum by this method, and claims for its demonstration by other methods may well be related to the non-specific activity observed here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1979
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supporte(1 in part, by reseach grants 6/74 ancl 3/75 from the Israel Cancer Association. REFERENCES


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