Two hybrid cell lines were prepared by the fusion of mouse myeloma cells with the spleen cells of BALB/c mice that had been immunized with the glycolipid ganglio-N-triosylceramide (asialo GM2). The specificity of the monoclonal antibodies produced by these hybridomas, one an IgM and the other an IgG3, has been defined by hemagglutination inhibition, complement fixation, and lysis of glycolipid liposomes by antibody and complement. A major determinant recognized by the IgM antibody is the nonreducing terminal N-acetylgalactosamine including the C6 primary hydroxyl group, but excluding the C2-acetamide group of N-acetylgalactosamine, because oxidation with galactose oxidase produced a structure showing only minimal cross-reaction with the IgM but replacement of the N-acetyl group with an N-n-butyryl group produced a glycolipid that reacts with IgM antibody to the same extent as with the unmodified glycoplipd. A major determinant recognized by the IgG3 antibody is the terminal N-acetylgalactosamine including the C2-acetamido group, but excluding the C6 primary hydroxyl group of N-acetylgalactosamine, because replacement of the N-acetyl group with an N-n-butyryl group produced a glycolipid that did not react with the IgG3 antibody; in striking contrast the IgG3 antibody reacted with the C6-oxidized glycolipid as well as with the native glycolipid. Neither antibody reacted significantly with any other natural glycolipids tested including several that are structurally related to asialo GM2 such as ganglioside GM2, ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide (asialo GM1), or ceramide dihexoside. These results indicated that in addition to the fine structure specificity described above both antibodies recognize the nonreducing terminal GalNAc beta 1 leads to 4Gal structure. The strict antigenic specificity of these monoclonal anti-glycolipid antibodies indicates their great potential as specific probes for cell surface studies.

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