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J Biol Chem. 2014 Sep 12;289(37):25833-43. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.550848. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

Expression of the clustered NeuAcα2-3Galβ O-glycan determines the cell differentiation state of the cells.

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From the Environmental Health Science Laboratory, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Osaka 554-8558, Japan,
From the Environmental Health Science Laboratory, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Osaka 554-8558, Japan.
the Department of Bioengineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka City University, Osaka 558-8585, Japan.
the Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Osaka Ohtani University, Tondabayashi, Osaka 584-8540, Japan, and.
the School of Pharmacy, Kinki University, Higashi-Osaka 577-8502, Japan.


Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are pluripotent stem cells from early embryos, and their self-renewal capacity depends on the sustained expression of hESC-specific molecules and the suppressed expression of differentiation-associated genes. To discover novel molecules expressed on hESCs, we generated a panel of monoclonal antibodies against undifferentiated hESCs and evaluated their ability to mark cancer cells, as well as hESCs. MAb7 recognized undifferentiated hESCs and showed a diffuse band with molecular mass of >239 kDa in the lysates of hESCs. Although some amniotic epithelial cells expressed MAb7 antigen, its expression was barely detected in normal human keratinocytes, fibroblasts, or endothelial cells. The expression of MAb7 antigen was observed only in pancreatic and gastric cancer cells, and its levels were elevated in metastatic and poorly differentiated cancer cell lines. Analyses of MAb7 antigen suggested that the clustered NeuAcα2-3Galβ O-linked oligosaccharides on DMBT1 (deleted in malignant brain tumors 1) were critical for MAb7 binding in cancer cells. Although features of MAb7 epitope were similar with those of TRA-1-60, distribution of MAb7 antigen in cancer cells was different from that of TRA-1-60 antigen. Exposure of a histone deacetylase inhibitor to differentiated gastric cancer MKN74 cells evoked the expression of MAb7 antigen, whereas DMBT1 expression remained unchanged. Cell sorting followed by DNA microarray analyses identified the down-regulated genes responsible for the biosynthesis of MAb7 antigen in MKN74 cells. In addition, treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer cells with MAb7 significantly abrogated the adhesion to endothelial cells. These results raised the possibility that MAb7 epitope is a novel marker for undifferentiated cells such as hESCs and cancer stem-like cells and plays a possible role in the undifferentiated cells.


Cancer Stem Cells; Differentiation; Embryonic Stem Cell; Metastasis; Oligosaccharide; Sialic Acid

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