Two novel monoclonal antibodies against the MUC4 tandem repeat reacting with an antigen overexpressed by lung cancer

C. Botti, E. Seregni, S. Ménard, P. Collini, E. Tagliabue, M. Campiglio, B. Vergani, C. Ghirelli, P. Aiello, S. Pilotti, E. Bombardieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we investigated the immunochemical and cytochemical reactivity of two monoclonal antibodies against the 16-amino acid tandem repeat of MUC4 to demonstrate a possible variation of the mucin core peptide expression related to lung cancer. The immunocytochemical anti-MUC4 reactivity was analyzed in four lung cancer cell lines (Calu-1, Calu-3, H460, SKMES) and in other tumor cell lines, as well as in frozen materials from 21 lung adenocarcinomas (ACs), including five bronchioalveolar carcinoma (BACs), and 11 squamous cell lung carcinomas (SqCCs). A weak fluorescence anti-MUC4 positivity (range: 10.3-16.2) was observed only in acetone-fixed lung cancer cell lines Calu-1, Calu-3 and H460. These three lung cancer cell lines also showed a cytoplasmic immunoperoxidase reactivity. The immunostaining in lung cancer tissues showed a granular cytoplasmic reactivity: 15/21 (71%) and 17/21 (80%) ACs were positive with BC-LuC18.2 and BC-LuCF12, respectively. All BACs were positive. Moderate to strong reactivity was present in well-differentiated ACs. In the normal lung parenchyma counterparts weak reactivity was found only in bronchiolar cells. All SqCCs were negative. Anti-MUC4 reactivity was also observed in the alveolar mucus. In conclusion, our anti-MUC4 MAbs detect a secretion product present in mucus and this product is elaborated by lung cancer cells and overexpressed in well-differentiated lung ACs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-320
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Markers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Core peptides
  • Lung cancer
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • MUC4
  • Mucins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry


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