Novel immunogenicity of Thomsen-Friedenreich disaccharide obtained by a molecular rotation on its carrier linkage

Fernando J. Irazoqui, Pablo H.H. Lopez, Miguel A. Vides, Gustavo A. Nores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The α-anomeric Galβ1-3GalNAc, called Thomsen-Friedenreich disaccharide (TFD), is overexpressed in epithelial cancer cells by aberrant O-glycosylation. TFD is also the main ligand of Agaricus bisporus lectin (ABL), a reversible noncytotoxic inhibitor of proliferation of epithelial cell lines. In order to obtain anti-TFD antibody response with a fine carbohydrate-binding specificity similar to that of ABL, we designed an immunogen of TFD with a molecular rotation on its carrier linkage that exposes more GalNAc than Gal, since ABL recognizes GalNAc more than Gal in TFD. The synthesis was accomplished by C-6 oxidation of Gal from TFD or its α-benzyl derivative (BzlαTFD), followed by reductive amination between the C-6 aldehyde yielded and the available amine of protein. Mice immunized with TFD-KLH (keyhole limpet hemocyanin) or BzlαTFD-KLH produced antibodies which were then analyzed by ELISA against several target antigens. Both immunogens raised anti-KLH antibody titers; however, TFD-KLH did not raise anti-TFD antibodies showing low TFD immunogenicity. In contrast, BzlαTFD-KLH gave much higher anti-TFD antibody response, indicating that benzyl residue helps improve anti-carbohydrate immune response. When IgG and IgM anti-TFD antibodies were analyzed by competitive ELISA using TFD-related carbohydrates as inhibitors, a high specificity to TFD as well as an enhanced binding to GalNAc over Gal were observed. The axial C-4 hydroxyl group of GalNAc interacted with IgG anti-TFD antibody, as evidenced by the lack of inhibitory activity of GlcNAc in contrast to GalNAc. These findings indicate that the anti-TFD antibodies have fine carbohydrate-binding specificity more similar to ABL than to other TFD-binding proteins that stimulate proliferation of epithelial cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-787
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunogenicity
  • Thomsen-Friedenreich disaccharide
  • Tumor-associated antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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