Mouse monoclonal antibodies against human (β1–4)galactosyl-transferase (GalT) purified from human ovarian tumor effusion fluids were prepared and characterized. GalT purified from normal human plasma showed a single diffused band in nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, but GalT purified from human ovarian tumor effusion fluids showed several olgomeric bands and a monomeric band in nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. These oligomeric bands were dissociated into monomer by urea treatment and polymerized by a 2-mercaptoethanol treatment. Nine monoclonal antibodies (MAb) were prepared by immunization of purified GalT from human ovarian tumor effusion fluids and classified into three groups. Type I MAbs (MAb8611, MAb8913, and MAb8919) reacted only to the GalT monomer. Type II MAbs (MAb4880, MAb8507, and MAb8628) reacted to both the GalT monomer and the GalT polymer. Type III MAbs (MAb7907, MAb8513, and MAb8677) reacted only to the GalT polymer. These MAbs except MAb7907 could recover GalT enzyme activity from effusion fluids by immunoprecipitation. A fraction passed through MAb8513 affinity chromatography still showed reactivity to MAb8919, demonstrating that an epitope of MAb8513 resides on a minor part of GalT. A sandwich immunoassay (MAb8513-MAb8628HRP) was developed, and serum samples from ovarian cancer patients and benign ovarian patients were tested. The levels of sandwich immunoassay of serum samples from cancer were elevated significantly compared to those from benign and did not necessarily correlate to total GalT enzyme activity in serum samples. These results suggested that MAb8513 (Type III) might recognize a unique GalT associated with tumor (GAT).

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