Serological analysis and biochemical characterization of monoclonal antibodies defining antigens of human hepatocellular carcinoma
A panel of seven murine monoclonal antibodies reactive with human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line, SK- HEP-1, resulted in the definition of four distinct antigen systems, designated HB4, HB5, HB1 and HJ2. HB4 antigen was found to be expressed specifically on HCC cell lines and fresh HCC specimens but not on normal liver. Immunoprecipitation tests suggest that the HB4 epitope may be a heat-stable carbohydrate determinant on a high molecular mass molecule. HB5 antigen was found to have less-restricted expression on a panel of normal adult tissues and on melanoma, astrocytoma, sarcoma, neuroblastoma and epithelial cancer cell lines. In fetal and adult liver, HB5 antigen localized to bile canaliculi and ducts. Under reducing conditions, three mAbs detected a Mr 140,000 glycoprotein using lysates of [125-I], [3-H]-glucosamine and [35-S]-methionine labeled SK-HEP-1 cells. Under non-reducing conditions an additional component of greater than Mr 200,000 was also detected. HB1 antigen was found on almost all monolayer cell lines and not on most cultured suspension cells. This antigen was also detected on cultured HCC cells inoculated into nu/nu mice. Immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that the HB1 antigen is a bimolecular complex with an Mr 170,000 alpha chain and Mr 130,000 beta chain under non-reducing conditions, and three subunits of Mr 140,000, Mr 30,000 and Mr 130,000 under reducing conditions. Two antibodies reacted with epitopes on the alpha chain. HJ2 antigenic determinant is a heat-stable component which could not be immunoprecipitated. This most widely expressed antigen was found in secreted form in many of the cells and tissues examined. These antibodies introduce new antigens which may serve as useful markers for the diagnosis, classification and investigation of HCC and other liver diseases.