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Cancer Res. 1986 Nov;46(11):5985-92.

Expression of LeY and extended LeY blood group-related antigens in human malignant, premalignant, and nonmalignant colonic tissues.


The LeY determinant, a difucosylated type 2 blood group-related antigen, is a positional isomer of the Leb blood group antigen and a fucosylated derivative of the LeX antigen. The LeX antigen behaves like an oncodevelopmental tumor-associated antigen in human colon cancer, and extended polyfucosyl LeX antigens are more specific for colon cancer tissues than are simple, monofucosyl LeX antigens. The present investigation compared the expression of simple and extended LeY antigens in a variety of malignant and nonmalignant human colonic tissues to gain insight into the normal distribution and cancer-associated expression of these antigens. Monoclonal antibody AH-6, which recognizes the LeY epitope irrespective of its carrier carbohydrate chain, stained the majority of specimens regardless of malignant potential or location within the colon. In contrast, CC-1 and CC-2 monoclonal antibodies, which recognize extended LeY structures, and KH-1, which is specific to trifucosyl LeY, preferentially stained malignant colonic tissues and rarely stained normal colonic mucosae. Mucosa immediately adjacent to cancer usually stained with AH-6 but not with KH-1, CC-1, or CC-2. Extended or trifucosyl LeY antigen expression was limited exclusively to premalignant (adenomatous) polyps and was invariably absent from nonpremalignant (hyperplastic) polyps. Moreover, among adenomatous polyps, extended LeY antigen expression tended to correlate with three parameters of malignant potential: larger polyp size; villous histology, and severe dysplasia. AH-6 failed to distinguish between hyperplastic and adenomatous polyps. In second-trimester fetal colonic mucosa, AH-6 bound to both proximal and distal segments whereas KH-1, CC-1, and CC-2 bound only to proximal segments. We conclude that in human colon, the LeY hapten is an oncodevelopmental cancer-associated antigen and extended LeY antigens are highly specific markers for malignancy and premalignancy.

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