BR 96 is an internalizing antibody that binds to Lewis Y (Le(y)), a carbohydrate determinant expressed at high levels on many human carcinomas (Hellström, I., H. J. Garrigues, U. Garrigues, and K. E. Hellström. 1990. Cancer Res. 50:2183-2190). Breast carcinoma cell lines grown to confluence bind less BR96 than subconfluent cultures (Garrigues, J., U. Garrigues, I. Hellström, and K. E. Hellström. 1993. Am. J. Path. 142:607-622). However, when the confluent cells are induced to migrate by scratch wounding, they again bind BR96 suggesting that antigens bearing the Le(y) determinant may promote cell migration. In the present study, BR96 was found to be highly enriched on microspikes and ruffled membranes, cell surface structures involved in cell migration. In addition, BR96 was a potent inhibitor of cell migration in vitro. When stationary BR96 treated cells were exposed to fresh culture media, membrane ruffles and microspikes developed at the cell margin and migration resumed. Immunogold microscopy showed that BR96 antigens were enriched on these membrane protrusions. BR96 cell surface immunoprecipitation analysis of 3H-glucosamine labeled breast carcinoma cells identified antigens with approximate molecular weights of 135 kd (upper antigen) and 85 kd (lower antigen). A short amino terminal sequence (8 residues) of the upper antigen matched that of human lysosomal membrane glycoprotein 1 (LAMP-1). In addition, the upper antigen was detected on immunoblots probed with anti-LAMP-1, and within the intracellular compartment BR96 was found predominantly in endosomes and lysosomes. A soluble LAMP-1/immunoglobulin fusion protein (LAMP-1/Ig) was transiently expressed in both BR96 binding and nonbinding cell lines. Immunoblot analysis of LAMP-1/Ig's from the various cell lines showed that (a) acquisition of the BR96 epitope is probably controlled at the level of polylactosamine modification (e.g., fucosylation) rather than LAMP-1 gene expression; (b) alternate forms of LAMP-1/Ig comigrate with the lower BR96 antigen raising the possibility that it may be a degradation product of the upper antigen; and (c) LAMP-1/Ig expressed in 3396 breast carcinoma cells has approximately 30-fold more BR96 epitopes than LAMP-1/Ig from non-tumorigenic mammary epithelial cells. Together these data indicate that a major BR96 antigen, LAMP-1, is present on unique cell surface domains involved in cell locomotion as well as membranes of the endocytic compartment. Altered glycosylation of LAMP-1 expressed in transformed cells may contribute to their ability to disseminate.

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