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Am J Pathol. 1993 Dec;143(6):1579-85.

Melanocyte lineage-specific antigens recognized by monoclonal antibodies NKI-beteb, HMB-50, and HMB-45 are encoded by a single cDNA.

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  • 1Division of Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Huis, Amsterdam.


The glycoproteins recognized by monoclonal antibody (MAb) NKI-beteb are among the best diagnostic markers for human melanoma. MAb NKI-beteb reacts with melanoma cells throughout tumor development and does not cross-react with other tumor or normal cells, except for cells of the melanocytic lineage. Two other melanocyte lineage-specific MAbs, HMB-50 and HMB-45, show a specificity and staining pattern strikingly similar to the ones observed for NKI-beteb. Herein, we demonstrate that all three MAbs recognize protein products encoded by a single cDNA. Expression of this cDNA in BLM cells results in immunoreactivity with all three MAbs. In addition, we demonstrate co-distribution of the RNA species detected by the cDNA with the proteins recognized by the MAbs in tissue sections.

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