Lactosylceramide sulfate and galactosylceramide sulfate were found to increase markedly in human renal cell carcinoma (adenocarcinoma) as compared to uninvolved tissue. Activities of two sulfotransferases toward galactosylceramide and lactosylceramide as substrates were significantly elevated in the carcinoma compared to the uninvolved tissue resulting in enhanced synthesis of the two sulfatides in the carcinoma. The elevation of the two sulfotransferases was parallel in most tumors, suggesting that the same enzyme is responsible for the enhanced synthesis of two sulfatides. No consistent difference in the activity of arylsulfatase A, which desulfates the two sulfatides, was observed between the carcinoma and uninvolved tissue.

Both the present and previous results show that the increased synthesis of the sulfatide(s) due to elevated sulfotransferase activity could be a biochemical characteristic common to adenocarcinomas derived from different tissues.

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Supported by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Akiyama Foundation, the Daiwa Health Foundation, and the Snow Brand Milk Products Company, Japan.

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