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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1999 Dec;48(9):483-92.

Immunization of mice with fucosyl-GM1 conjugated with keyhole limpet hemocyanin results in antibodies against human small-cell lung cancer cells.

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  • 1Clinical Immunology Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Fucosyl-GM1 (Fuc-GM1) [Fucalpha1 --> 2Galbeta1 --> 3GalNAcbeta1 --> 4(NeuAcalpha2-3)Galbeta1 --> 4Glcbeta1 --> O-Cer] is a small-cell-lung-cancer (SCLC)-associated ganglioside initially defined by the murine monoclonal antibody F12. On the basis of its known distribution, Fuc-GM1 is a potential target for active immunotherapy in SCLC patients. Fuc-GM1 has been extracted and purified from bovine thyroid. The immunogenicity of Fuc-GM1 was tested in mice either alone, mixed with carrier protein keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) or covalently linked with KLH, plus immunological adjuvant QS-21. The Fuc-GM1-KLH conjugate plus QS-21 adjuvant was found to be optimal. It induced consistent IgM and IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) titers against Fuc-GM1. These antibodies were strongly reactive with the strongly Fuc-GM1-positive rat hepatoma cell line H4-II-E, and they were moderately reactive with the moderately positive human SCLC cell line H146 by flow cytometry and complement-mediated lysis. Both ELISA and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) reactions were inhibited with Fuc-GM1or H4-II-E but not with the structurally related ganglioside GM1 or Fuc-GM1-negative colon cancer cell line LS-C. On the basis of these results, a vaccine comprising Fuc-GM1-KLH plus QS-21 is being prepared for testing in patients with SCLC.

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