* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received September 3, 2004; Revision received November 22, 2004
Polyclonal rabbit anti-bovine submaxillary mucin antibodies, anti-BSM IgG, were analyzed by autoradiography and densitometry (after SDS electrophoresis and blotting), ELISA, and IRMA assays for reactivity against native antigen BSM, deglycosylated and desialylated BSM, and human salivary and carcinoma-associated mucins. Known human tumor marker CA19-9 antigen reacted with rabbit anti-BSM IgG under different conditions, either soluble or immobilized. As soluble antigen, in IRMA it reacted with anti-BSM antibodies used both as a catcher and a tracer, as well as in combination with monoclonal anti-CA19-9 antibodies as a catcher. MUC1 mucin is a carrier of this carbohydrate antigen, CA19-9, or sialyl-Lewisa, as well as of CA15-3 antigen, a known breast tumor marker. Autoradiography and densitometry demonstrated binding of anti-BSM IgG to intact MUC1 in a sample of commercial standard preparation of CA19-9 antigen. The same method and analysis demonstrated binding of anti-BSM IgG to MUC1 and to smaller antigens of 85-120 kD in samples containing CA15-3 antigen: commercial standard preparation, human breast tissue, and human milk. In a sample of whole human saliva, reactions of both isoforms of MUC7 were detected by autoradiography, as bands of 85 and 115 kD, and densitogram analysis also demonstrated reaction with MUC5B. Chemical modifications performed as periodate oxidation and desialylation of the BSM demonstrated carbohydrate (i.e., sialic acid) epitope sensitivity for anti-BSM IgG. The results presented in this work indicate that polyclonal anti-BSM antibodies are specific for sialylated carbohydrate structure on mucins and could serve as a tool for investigation of human carcinoma-associated and salivary mucins.
KEY WORDS: mucin, antibodies, carbohydrate epitope