A new monoclonal antibody (MAb 9H8, IgM class) reactive with human ovarian carcinoma has been raised after immunizing C57BL/6 mice with bovine sperm. Immunohistological studies indicated that 20/21 serous ovarian adenocarcinomas expressed 9H8-defined antigen but it was absent in benign ovarian tumors (0/11). 1/11 of breast carcinomas and 5/5 of rectal carcinomas expressed this antigen, although to a considerably lesser degree. Tumors of lung, skin, brain and mesothelium were negative. The antigen was also expressed in embryonic skin, in renal collecting tubule cells and in saliva. In bovine, human and mouse sperm the antigen is confined to the acrosomal region. The molecular weight of this antigen was determined by Western blot analysis and gel filtration. In SDS-PAGE the antigen ran as a broad band barely entering the 7% gel, indicating an apparent molecular weight > 300 kDa. In the absence of detergents and reducing agents this glycoprotein forms larger complexes ( > 1,500 kDa) as determined by gel filtration on Sephacryl S300. The epitope contains carbohydrate structures recognized by lectin PNA (peanut agglutinin).

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