Surgically removed normal and malignant mammary tissues and human breast carcinoma cell lines were tested in binding assays with monoclonal antibodies to HLA-A,B,C antigens, β2-microglobulin, HLA-DR antigens, and tumor-associated antigens; the latter included a Mr 280,000, a Mr 94,000, and a Mr 85,000 membrane-bound glycoprotein and a cytoplasmic antigen. HLA-A,B antigens, β2-microglobulin, HLA-DR antigens, and the cytoplasmic antigen are expressed by normal mammary cells. Their malignant transformation may be associated with quantitative changes in the expression of these antigens and with the appearance of Mr 94,000 and Mr 85,000 glycoproteins. The Mr 280,000 glycoprotein was detected on only one of the breast carcinoma cell lines tested. Analysis of primary tumors and autologous axillary lymph node metastasis from 13 patients has shown differences in the expression of all the antigens tested between primary and metastatic lesions.

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This work was supported by NIH Grants AI 19189, CA 32609, CA 32619, CA 32634, and CA 32635, and CNR Grant “Controllo Crescita Neoplastica” 810132696.

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