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Monoclonal Antibodies That Bind to Cell Surface Antigens on Human Embryonal Carcinoma Cells


Barbara Knowles, Davor Solter, and Peter Andrews

Tech ID

Wistar researchers have developed monoclonal antibodies against five cell surface markers that are useful in the identification and characterization of human embryonic stem cells and monitoring their differentiation. Investigation of the function and expression of developmentally regulated cell surface antigens may yield clues to the control of cell differentiation, not only during embryogenesis but also during oncogenesis. These monoclonal antibodies bind to cell surface antigens SSEA-1 (stage-specific mouse embryonic antigen), SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60R, and TRA-1-81.


MC-631 (SSEA-3) hybridomas were produced by fusing SP2/0 mouse myeloma cells with splenocytes from a Fisher rat immunized with 4-8 cell stage mouse embryos.

MC-813-70 (SSEA-4) hybridomas were produced by fusing SP2/0 myeloma cells with splenocytes from a BALB/c mouse immunized with human embryonal carcinoma cell line 2102Ep.

TRA-1-60R and TRA-1-81 hybridomas were produced by fusing SP2/0 myeloma cells with splenocytes from a BALB/c mouse immunized with human embryonal carcinoma cell line 2102Ep.


MC-631 (SSEA-3) and MC813-70 (SSEA-4): early mouse embryos, human teratocarcinoma stem cells, human embryonal stem cells. MC-631, IgM; MC-813-70, IgG3

TRA-1-60R and TRA-1-81: human embryonal carcinoma cell lines. IgM.

Applications and Advantages

Immunohistochemistry, Immunoprecipitation. Identification of human embryonic stem cells. Characterization of embryonal stem cells of human origin to distinguish them from those of murine origin.

Relevant Publication(s)

References: Solter, Knowles (1978) Monoclonal antibody defining a stage-specific mouse embryonic antigen (SSEA-1). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 75: 5565-5569.

Kannagi, Cochran, Ishigami, Hakomori, Andrews, Knowles and Solter (1983) Stage-specific embryonic antigens (SSEA-3 and-4) are epitopes of a unique globo-series ganglioside isolated from humanteratocarcinoma cells. EMBO 2(12): 2355-2361.

Shevinsky, L.H., Knowles, B.B., Damjanov, I., and Solter, D. (1982) A stage-specific embryonic antigen defined by monoclonal antibody to murine embryos, expressed on mouse embryos and human teratocarcinoma cells. Cell 30: 697-705.

Andrews P.W. et al. (1984) Three monoclonal antibodies defining distinct differentiation antigens associated with different high molecular weight polypeptides on the surface of human embryonal carcinoma cells. Hybridoma 3: 347-361.

Marrink J., Andrews P.W., van Brummen P.J., de Jong H.J., Sleijfer D., Schraffordt-Koops H. and Oosterhuis J.W. (1991). TRA-1-60: A new serum marker in patients with germ cell tumors. Int. J. Cancer 49: 368-372.

Giwercman, A., Andrews, P.W., Jørgensen, N., Muller, J., Graem, N., Skakkebaek, N.E. (1993) Immunochemical expression of embryonal marker TRA-1-60 in carcinoma in situ germ cells and in testicular germ cell tumours. Cancer 72: 1308-1314.

Andrews, P.W., et al. (1996). Comparative analysis of cell surface antigens expressed by cell lines derived from human germ cell tumours. Int. J. Cancer 66: 806-816.

Gels, M.E., Marrink J, Visser, P., Sleijfer, D.T., Droste J.H.J., Hoekstra, H.J., Andrews, P.W., Koops, H.S. (1997). Importance of a new tumour marker TRA-1-60 in the follow-up of patients with clinical state I nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumours. Annals of Surgical Oncology 4: 321-327.