GA733-2 is a monoclonal antibody-defined, 40-kDa glycoprotein antigen that is associated with carcinomas of various origins. Hydrophobicity analysis of the protein sequence predicted by complementary DNA (cDNA) has suggested that the GA733-2 antigen is a type I membrane protein. In this study, the polymerase chain reaction was used in a strategy to omit cDNA sequences for the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, thereby converting the extracellular domain into a secretory protein. Full-length and truncated cDNAs were cloned into the baculovirus transfer vector pVL1392 and introduced into Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus by homologous recombination. The full-length cDNA baculovirus recombinant directed the expression of a 40-kDa glycoprotein that was confined to infected Spodoptera frugiperda cells, whereas cells infected with the truncated cDNA baculovirus recombinant abundantly secreted a 31-kDa glycoprotein into the culture medium. Recombinant secretory antigen displayed an in vitro immunoreactivity to monoclonal antibody and an in vivo immunogenicity in mice that were similar to native antigen. The facile purification of mg quantities of carcinoma-associated antigen will enable an evaluation of its immunogenicity in cancer patients.

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This work was supported by NIH Grants CA 10815 and CA 21124-11. C. P. S. was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service.

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