Expression of Tn, sialosyl Tn, and T antigens in human pancreas

Steven Itzkowitz, Thomas Kjeldsen, Annabelle Friera, Sen Itiroh Hakomori, Ung Suk Yang, Young S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Carbohydrate antigens representing some of the initial steps in mucin O-linked glycosylation were examined in specimens of normal pancreas, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Tn antigen, recognized by Vicia villosa lectin, was expressed by all specimens of normal pancreas (acinar cells) and pancreatic cancers and all but one case of chronic pancreatitis. Sialosyl Tn antigen, recognized by monoclonal antibody TKH2, was expressed in a cancer-associated fashion, being completely absent in normal pancreas but expressed by 56% of chronic pancreatitis and 97% of pancreatic cancers. T antigen, recognized by monoclonal antibody AH9-16, was expressed in 68% of normal pancreas (acinar cells), 67% of chronic pancreatitis, and 48% of pancreatic cancer tissues. These results indicate that normal acinar cells of the pancreas are capable of expressing selected carbohydrate structures associated with the initial steps of mucin glycosylation. The marked expression of sialosyl Tn compared with T antigen in pancreatic cancers suggests that with malignant transformation there is selective usage of glycosyltransferase enzymes involved in mucin oligosaccharide synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1700
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1991
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression of Tn, sialosyl Tn, and T antigens in human pancreas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this