Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was purified from tumor tissue under mild conditions at neutral pH by a procedure that utilized affinity chromatography on concanvalin A. Further purification by gel filtration provided CEA in 10 to 20% yield and 10% purity. Antibody to this preparation was rendered specific for CEA by adsorption on a column of normal liver proteins bound to Sepharose. On reaction by immunodiffusion against a crude tumor extract, the adsorbed antibody produced two precipitin lines, of which one was relatively weak. These two precipitin lines fused completely with the two respective lines produced by antibody to perchloric acid-treated CEA. The major antigen found in crude tumor extracts and in CEA preparations purified at neutral pH was nearly undetectable in perchloric acid extracts of tumor homogenates. Further investigations showed that 60 to 70% of the CEA in crude tumor extracts and in preparations isolated at netural pH is destroyed and/or becomes insoluble under acidic conditions.

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