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Biomolecules 2015, 5(3), 1783-1809;

Challenges in Antibody Development against Tn and Sialyl-Tn Antigens

CEDOC, Chronic Diseases Research Center, NOVA Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, 130, Lisboa 1169-056, Portugal
IBET—Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica, Apartado 12, Oeiras 2781-901, Portugal
IHMT, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Rua da Junqueira 100, Lisboa 1349-008, Portugal
Structural and Functional Glycobiology Unit, UMR CNRS 8576, University of Lille, Villeneuve d'Ascq 59655, France
Departamento Ciências da Vida, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Caparica 2829-516, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hans Vliegenthart
Received: 9 June 2015 / Revised: 19 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Glycan, Glycoprotein and Proteoglycan Research)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2280 KB, uploaded 11 August 2015]   |  


The carbohydrate antigens Tn and sialyl-Tn (STn) are expressed in most carcinomas and usually absent in healthy tissues. These antigens have been correlated with cancer progression and poor prognosis, and associated with immunosuppressive microenvironment. Presently they are used in clinical trials as therapeutic vaccination, but with limited success due to their low immunogenicity. Alternatively, anti-Tn and/or STn antibodies may be used to harness the immune system against tumor cells. Whilst the development of antibodies against these antigens had a boost two decades ago for diagnostic use, so far no such antibody entered into clinical trials. Possible limitations are the low specificity and efficiency of existing antibodies and that novel antibodies are still necessary. The vast array of methodologies available today will allow rapid antibody development and novel formats. Following the advent of hybridoma technology, the immortalization of human B cells became a methodology to obtain human monoclonal antibodies with better specificity. Advances in molecular biology including phage display technology for high throughput screening, transgenic mice and more recently molecularly engineered antibodies enhanced the field of antibody production. The development of novel antibodies against Tn and STn taking advantage of innovative technologies and engineering techniques may result in innovative therapeutic antibodies for cancer treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tn antigen; Sialyl Tn antigen; immune response; therapeutic antibodies; antibody production Tn antigen; Sialyl Tn antigen; immune response; therapeutic antibodies; antibody production

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Loureiro, L.R.; Carrascal, M.A.; Barbas, A.; Ramalho, J.S.; Novo, C.; Delannoy, P.; Videira, P.A. Challenges in Antibody Development against Tn and Sialyl-Tn Antigens. Biomolecules 2015, 5, 1783-1809.

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