Molecular and cellular biochemistry

Molecular characterization of tumor associated antigen in mice exposed to a hepatocarcinogen.

PMID 15881669


The present investigation is aimed to identify and characterize tumor-associated antigen (TAA) in animals exposed to hepatocarcinogen. Swiss albino mice showed an enhanced expression of an approximately 58 kDa glycoprotein in liver cells upon exposure to a potential hepatocarcinogen N-nitrosodibutylamine (DBN). Carcinogenesis induction in mice was monitored by assays of y-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), acetylcholine esterase (AChE), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities and the level of glutathione (GSH) in liver. DBN treated animals showed cell distortion and extensive necrosis as observed by histological examination. The over-expressed TAA was purified by ion-exchange chromatography and further characterized by SDS-PAGE. The carbohydrate contents and glycan linkage to the polypeptide backbone was analyzed by using the DIG glycan differentiation and de-glycosylation kits. The glycoprotein has glycan chains that are N-linked via asparagines to the polypeptide backbone. It was also observed that the molecule is rich in sialic acid residues with a significantly high carbohydrate to protein ratio (> 2:1). The over-expressed high molecular weight glycoprotein TAA was found to be highly immunogenic and could eventually be used to induce immune response in order to counter tumor regression.