O-acetylation of disialoganglioside GD3 by human melanoma cells creates a unique antigenic determinant

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Science  24 Aug 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4664, pp. 844-846
DOI: 10.1126/science.6206564


Monoclonal antibody Mab D1.1 recognizes on human melanoma cells a ganglioside antigen characterized by an alkali-labile O-acetylated sialic acid residue. Immunochemical analysis showed that this molecule is an O-acetylated product of the neuroectoderm-associated disialoganglioside GD3. Controlled chemical O-acetylation of purified GD3 resulted in the generation of this same epitope. Lysates of human melanoma cells were found to contain O-acetyltransferase activity capable of generating the antigenic epitope recognized by Mab D1.1. Thus, the addition of a single O-acetyl group to a common cell surface-associated ganglioside can create a potentially tumor-specific antigen.