Thomsen–Friedenreich antigen (Galβ1-3GalNAcα1) is a disaccharide. [ citation needed ]It is usually present on cell surfaces in a cryptic form covered by N-Acetylneuraminic acid moieties, and is released into circulation in many different cancers.
The Thomsen–Friedenreich antigen (Gal-GalNAc) represents a tumor-associated molecule, which is assumed to be one of the few chemically well-defined antigens with a proven association with malignancy. In order to analyze the role of the carbohydrate structure Gal-GalNAc for gastrointestinal tumors, Balb/c mice with MCF-7 breast tumor cells were immunized, together with synthetic Gal-GalNAc linked to a BSA carrier. One monoclonal antibody (82-A6) was established that recognizes the Thomsen–Friedenreich antigen according to the biochemical and serological analysis presented here.
In contrast to studies performed in the past, immunohistochemical results using the antibody 82-A6 did not exhibit a reactivity clearly restricted to tumors. Preliminary biochemical analysis revealed that the T-determinant is detectable in the high-molecular weight range (about 1000 kD), suggesting that the Gal-GalNAc epitope is found on mucin-like glycoproteins. Tumor restriction of the Thomsen–Friedenreich antigen may therefore be determined either by the protein backbone or by the beta-glycosidic linkage of the carbohydrate structure to the protein.
In immunology, antigens (Ag) are structures specifically bound by antibodies (Ab) or a cell surface version of Ab ~ B cell antigen receptor (BCR). The term antigen originally described a structural molecule that binds specifically to an antibody only in the form of native antigen. It was expanded later to refer to any molecule or a linear molecular fragment after processing the native antigen that can be recognized by T-cell receptor (TCR). BCR and TCR are both highly variable antigen receptors diversified by somatic V(D)J recombination. Both T cells and B cells are cellular components of adaptive immunity. The Ag abbreviation stands for an antibody generator.
The immune system is a host defense system comprising many biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, known as pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism's own healthy tissue. In many species, there are two major subsystems of the immune system: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. Both subsystems use humoral immunity and cell-mediated immunity to perform their functions. In humans, the blood–brain barrier, blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier, and similar fluid–brain barriers separate the peripheral immune system from the neuroimmune system, which protects the brain.
Glycoproteins are proteins which contain oligosaccharide chains (glycans) covalently attached to amino acid side-chains. The carbohydrate is attached to the protein in a cotranslational or posttranslational modification. This process is known as glycosylation. Secreted extracellular proteins are often glycosylated.
Natural killer cells, also known as NK cells or large granular lymphocytes (LGL), are a type of cytotoxic lymphocyte critical to the innate immune system. The role of NK cells is analogous to that of cytotoxic T cells in the vertebrate adaptive immune response. NK cells provide rapid responses to virus-infected cells, acting at around 3 days after infection, and respond to tumor formation. Typically, immune cells detect the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) presented on infected cell surfaces, triggering cytokine release, causing lysis or apoptosis. NK cells are unique, however, as they have the ability to recognize stressed cells in the absence of antibodies and MHC, allowing for a much faster immune reaction. They were named "natural killers" because of the initial notion that they do not require activation to kill cells that are missing "self" markers of MHC class 1. This role is especially important because harmful cells that are missing MHC I markers cannot be detected and destroyed by other immune cells, such as T lymphocyte cells.
Glycosylation is the reaction in which a carbohydrate, i.e. a glycosyl donor, is attached to a hydroxyl or other functional group of another molecule. In biology, glycosylation mainly refers in particular to the enzymatic process that attaches glycans to proteins, or other organic molecules. This enzymatic process produces one of the fundamental biopolymers found in cells. Glycosylation is a form of co-translational and post-translational modification. Glycans serve a variety of structural and functional roles in membrane and secreted proteins. The majority of proteins synthesized in the rough endoplasmic reticulum undergo glycosylation. It is an enzyme-directed site-specific process, as opposed to the non-enzymatic chemical reaction of glycation. Glycosylation is also present in the cytoplasm and nucleus as the O-GlcNAc modification. Aglycosylation is a feature of engineered antibodies to bypass glycosylation. Five classes of glycans are produced:
An epitope, also known as antigenic determinant, is the part of an antigen that is recognized by the immune system, specifically by antibodies, B cells, or T cells. For example, the epitope is the specific piece of the antigen to which an antibody binds. The part of an antibody that binds to the epitope is called a paratope. Although epitopes are usually non-self proteins, sequences derived from the host that can be recognized are also epitopes.
CA-125 also known as mucin 16 or MUC16 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the MUC16 gene. MUC16 is a member of the mucin family glycoproteins. CA-125 has found application as a tumor marker or biomarker that may be elevated in the blood of some patients with specific types of cancers, or other conditions that are benign.
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) describes a set of highly related glycoproteins involved in cell adhesion. CEA is normally produced in gastrointestinal tissue during fetal development, but the production stops before birth. Consequently, CEA is usually present at very low levels in the blood of healthy adults. However, the serum levels are raised in some types of cancer, which means that it can be used as a tumor marker in clinical tests. Serum levels can also be elevated in heavy smokers.
Chimeric antigen receptor T cells are T cells that have been genetically engineered to produce an artificial T-cell receptor for use in immunotherapy.
Cancer immunotherapy is the artificial stimulation of the immune system to treat cancer, improving on the immune system's natural ability to fight the disease. It is an application of the fundamental research of cancer immunology and a growing subspeciality of oncology.
An antigen-presenting cell (APC) or accessory cell is a cell that displays antigen complexed with major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs) on their surfaces; this process is known as antigen presentation. T cells may recognize these complexes using their T cell receptors (TCRs). APCs process antigens and present them to T-cells.
A single-domain antibody (sdAb), also known as a nanobody, is an antibody fragment consisting of a single monomeric variable antibody domain. Like a whole antibody, it is able to bind selectively to a specific antigen. With a molecular weight of only 12–15 kDa, single-domain antibodies are much smaller than common antibodies which are composed of two heavy protein chains and two light chains, and even smaller than Fab fragments and single-chain variable fragments.
A blocking antibody is an antibody that does not have a reaction when combined with an antigen, but prevents other antibodies from combining with that antigen. This function of blocking antibodies has had a variety of clinical and experimental uses.
Sialyl LewisX (sLeX) also known as cluster of differentiation 15s (CD15s) or stage-specific embryonic antigen 1 (SSEA-1), is a tetrasaccharide carbohydrate which is usually attached to O-glycans on the surface of cells. It is known to play a vital role in cell-to-cell recognition processes. It is also the means by which an egg attracts sperm; first, to stick to it, then bond with it and eventually form a zygote. The discovery of the essential role that this tetrasaccharide plays in the fertilization process was reported in August 2011.
CD16, also known as FcγRIII, is a cluster of differentiation molecule found on the surface of natural killer cells, neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages. CD16 has been identified as Fc receptors FcγRIIIa (CD16a) and FcγRIIIb (CD16b), which participate in signal transduction. The most well-researched membrane receptor implicated in triggering lysis by NK cells, CD16 is a molecule of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) involved in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). It can be used to isolate populations of specific immune cells through fluorescent-activated cell sorting (FACS) or magnetic-activated cell sorting, using antibodies directed towards CD16.
Mucin 1, cell surface associated (MUC1), also called polymorphic epithelial mucin (PEM) or epithelial membrane antigen or EMA, is a mucin encoded by the MUC1 gene in humans. MUC1 is a glycoprotein with extensive O-linked glycosylation of its extracellular domain. Mucins line the apical surface of epithelial cells in the lungs, stomach, intestines, eyes and several other organs. Mucins protect the body from infection by pathogen binding to oligosaccharides in the extracellular domain, preventing the pathogen from reaching the cell surface. Overexpression of MUC1 is often associated with colon, breast, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers. Joyce Taylor-Papadimitriou identified and characterised the antigen during her work with breast and ovarian tumors.
An oncoantigen is a surface or soluble tumor antigen that supports tumor growth. A major problem of cancer immunotherapy is the selection of tumor cell variants that escape immune recognition. The notion of oncoantigen was set forth in the context of cancer immunoprevention to define a class of persistent tumor antigens not prone to escape from immune recognition.
Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is a transmembrane glycoprotein mediating Ca2+-independent homotypic cell–cell adhesion in epithelia. EpCAM is also involved in cell signaling, migration, proliferation, and differentiation. Additionally, EpCAM has oncogenic potential via its capacity to upregulate c-myc, e-fabp, and cyclins A & E. Since EpCAM is expressed exclusively in epithelia and epithelial-derived neoplasms, EpCAM can be used as diagnostic marker for various cancers. It appears to play a role in tumorigenesis and metastasis of carcinomas, so it can also act as a potential prognostic marker and as a potential target for immunotherapeutic strategies.
Beta-1,4 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2 is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the B4GALNT2 gene.
Immune checkpoints are regulators of the immune system. These pathways are crucial for self-tolerance, which prevents the immune system from attacking cells indiscriminately. However, some cancers can protect themselves from attack by stimulating immune checkpoint targets.
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