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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 510810, 9 pages
Research Article

Carbohydrate Microarrays Identify Blood Group Precursor Cryptic Epitopes as Potential Immunological Targets of Breast Cancer

1Tumor Glycomics Laboratory, SRI International Biosciences Division, 333 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
2Department of Pharmacology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA
3Department of Pathology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California in Los Angeles, 570 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Received 25 April 2015; Revised 1 August 2015; Accepted 6 August 2015

Academic Editor: Paola Nistico

Copyright © 2015 Denong Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Using carbohydrate microarrays, we explored potential natural ligands of antitumor monoclonal antibody HAE3. This antibody was raised against a murine mammary tumor antigen but was found to cross-react with a number of human epithelial tumors in tissues. Our carbohydrate microarray analysis reveals that HAE3 is specific for an O-glycan cryptic epitope that is normally hidden in the cores of blood group substances. Using HAE3 to screen tumor cell surface markers by flow cytometry, we found that the HAE3 glycoepitope, , was highly expressed by a number of human breast cancer cell lines, including some triple-negative cancers that lack the estrogen, progesterone, and Her2/neu receptors. Taken together, we demonstrate that HAE3 recognizes a conserved cryptic glycoepitope of blood group precursors, which is nevertheless selectively expressed and surface-exposed in certain breast tumor cells. The potential of this class of O-glycan cryptic antigens in breast cancer subtyping and targeted immunotherapy warrants further investigation.