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Cancer. 1989 Jun 1;63(11):2152-5.

B-cell lymphoma marking only with anti-epithelial membrane antigen.

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Division of Immunology, Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL 60612.


A large cell malignancy identified as a B-lymphoma only by virtue of mu and kappa chain gene rearrangement additionally displayed profuse plasmalemma marking with anti-epithelial membrane antigen (EMA). Affinity absorption of the antibody with N-acetyl-galactosamine but not with N-acetylglucosamine or d-galactose effectively removed the lymphoma reactive antibodies. Soy bean agglutinin but not wheat germ agglutinin demonstrated lectin activity towards an epitope on the lymphoma membrane. Finally, digestion of cryostat sections of the lymphoma with N-acetylgalactosaminidase effectively removed the sugar epitope involved in EMA marking. Such data taken together would tend to indicate a membrane positioned complex carbohydrate with galactosamine dominancy. By analogy to the purported "late differentiation antigen secretory function" of EMA this lymphoma may be close to plasma cell stage.

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