HMMC-1 is a human monoclonal antibody that reacts with a fucosylated and extended core 1 O-glycan, Fucα1-2Galβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-3GalNAc-Ser/Thr, as an epitope. In the present study, we examined the effects of HMMC-1 on cell proliferation of two human uterine endometrial cancer cell lines, HEC8 and HEC9, to investigate the role of glycoproteins bearing the HMMC-1 epitope in cancer progression. HEC9 cells expressed high levels of the HMMC-1 epitope, but HMMC-1 reactivity was hardly detected in HEC8 cells. In a mouse model of lymph node metastasis using orthotopic implantation, HEC8 and HEC9 showed low (10%) and high (80%) metastatic potency, respectively. Growth of HEC9, but not HEC8, was remarkably inhibited by addition of HMMC-1 to the culture medium. Cell cycle analysis and expression analysis showed that HMMC-1 treatment increased the G1 phase population of HEC9 cells and induced cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p16 and p21. Two glycoproteins, 97 and 137 kDa, with a strong reactivity to HMMC-1 were purified, and the 97-kDa glycoprotein was identified as CD166, an immunoglobulin superfamily cell adhesion molecule assumed to be involved in cancer metastasis. CD166 gene-silencing dramatically reduced HMMC-1 epitope expression and growth in HEC9 cells, indicating that CD166 is the primary glycoprotein presenting the HMMC-1 epitope in HEC9 cells. Collectively, HMMC-1 might arrest the cell cycle in the G1 phase by binding to O-glycans on the CD166 expressed in HEC9 cells, raising the possibility that HMMC-1 extensively inhibits invasive growth of HMMC-1 epitope-positive uterine endometrial cancer cells by targeting the cancer-associated form of CD166.
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