Expression of Lewisa, Lewisb, X, and Y Blood Group Antigens in Human Colonic Tumors and Normal Tissue and in Human Tumor-derived Cell Lines

Junichi Sakamoto, Koichi Furukawa, Carlos Cordon-Cardo, Beatrice W.T. Yin, Wolfgang J. Rettig, Herbert F. Oettgen, Lloyd J. Old, Kenneth O. Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations


Serological and immunopathological analysis of the expression of Lea, Leb X, and Y blood group antigens on cell lines and tissues was performed using a panel of mouse monoclonal antibodies. The distribution of the antigens was determined on 155 malignant tumor cell lines of various types and 10 short term cultures of normal fibroblasts and kidney cells. Among colon cancers, all four blood group antigens were expressed on the majority of cell lines. On lung, breast, bladder, and ovarian cancer cell lines, X and Y antigens were the main specificities found, whereas few of the renal and hematopoietic tumor cell lines demonstrated any of the four blood group antigens. No blood group antigens could be detected on astrocytoma or melanoma cell lines. The expression of the antigens was also analyzed on frozen sections of colon carcinoma and adjacent normal colon tissue from 42 patients using the immunoperoxidase method. Lea and X were detected throughout the normal colon and on most colonic tumors. In poorly differentiated colon cancer and in metastatic cancer, decrease of Lea antigen was observed. Leb and Y expression was observed in only 20-45% of normal tissue samples but in almost all colonic carcinoma tissues. A selected number of tumor and normal specimens from patients whose secretor status was known were examined in more detail. Both the staining of the tissues and the reactivity of blood group glycolipids from the same specimens were determined. These studies confirmed the above findings and demonstrated the unexpected ability of tumors of nonsecretors to express Leb and/or Y antigens. In such individuals, in whom the expression of Leb and Y antigens in normal tissues is absent or minimal, these antigens provide possible targets for immunodiagnosis and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1553-1561
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1986
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression of Lewisa, Lewisb, X, and Y Blood Group Antigens in Human Colonic Tumors and Normal Tissue and in Human Tumor-derived Cell Lines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this