Monoclonal antibody YHD-06 generated by immunization with GM2 reacted with gangliosides with GM2-determinant, i.e., GM2, GalNAc-GM1b and GalNAc-GD1a, among which GalNAc-GD1a was characterized as an antigen of autoimmune peripheral neuropathies including Guillain-Barré syndrome. When glycolipids were examined by TLC-immunostaining with YHD-06 in seven human cervical carcinoma-derived cell lines, GM2 was found in all cell lines, amounting to 15.5 % to 57.5 % of total gangliosides. Whereas GalNAc-GD1a was present in three cell lines, amounting to 5.4–17.5 % of total gangliosides, and GalNAc-GM1b in four cell lines in amounts of less than 2 %. The elevated amounts of gangliosides with GM2 determinant were closely correlated with the relative intensities of gene expression of GalNAc transferase, this being characteristic of cervical carcinoma-derived cells. However, in tissues from patients with several histological types of cervical carcinomas, GM3 was ubiquitously expressed in amounts of more than 66 % of total gangliosides, GM2 was expressed in only five of 15 tissues, and both GalNAc-GM1b and GalNAc-GD1a were not even detected in trace amounts. Since GM1 was detected in all tissues in amounts of less than 0.06 μg/mg dried tissue, all cervical carcinoma tissues were revealed to exhibit GM2 synthesis, indicating that enhanced synthesis of gangliosides with GM2 determinant is a characteristic of cultivated cells in vitro. Similarly, although I3SO3-GalCer was not present in the squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) tissues, SCC-derived cells selectively expressed II3SO3-LacCer. Since enhanced synthesis of GM2 has been reported in SV-40 virus-transfected fibroblasts, papilloma virus might be involved in the expression of GM2 in cervical carcinoma-derived cells.
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