Tumor cell-associated epitopes recognized by lymphokine-activated killers (LAK)

William Gunter Loudon, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Interleukin-2 activated lymphocytes, designated lymphokine-activated killers (LAK), acquire the unique capacity to express potent cytologic activity against a broad spectrum of abnormal and/or transformed NK-sensitive and NK-resistant target cells while sparing normal cell types. Investigations into the target spectra exhibited by cloned effector cells indicate that LAK cells express a polyspecific recognition mechanism that identifies an undefined class of cell surface-associated molecules expressed on susceptible targets. This report extends our previous investigations into the biochemical nature of these molecules by characterizing the functional role of two tumor cell-surface-associated epitopes implicated in conferring target cells with susceptibility to LAK-mediated cytotoxicity. The first moiety is implicated in the formation of effector/target cell conjugates. This binding ligand is preferentially expressed on tumor cells relative to LAK-resistant PBL target cells, sensitive to trypsin treatment, resistant to functional inactivation by heat- and detergent-induced conformational changes, and does not require N-linked glycosylation to maintain binding activity. In contrast, a carbohydrate-associated epitope represents the second tumor-associated molecule required for target cell susceptibility to LAK cells. Specifically, N-linked glyoprotein synthesis represents an absolute requirement for post-trypsin recovery of target cell susceptibility. The minimal N-linked oligosaccharide residue capable of restoring this second signal has been identified as a high mannose structure. Although ultimately required for tumor cell susceptibility, as measured in $\sp{51}$Cr-release assays, this N-glycan-associated molecule is not required for the differential tumor cell binding expressed by LAK cells. Furthermore, N-glycan expression is not adequate in itself to confer target cell susceptibility. Additional categories of cell surface components have been investigated, including O-linked oligosaccharides, and glycosaminoglycans, without identifying additional moieties relevant to target cell recognition. Collectively, these data suggest that tumor cell recognition by LAK cells is dependent on cell surface presentation of two epitopes: a trypsin-sensitive molecule that participates in the initial conjugate formation and an N-glycan-associated moiety that is involved in a post-binding event required for target cell killing.

Subject Area

Immunology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Loudon, William Gunter, "Tumor cell-associated epitopes recognized by lymphokine-activated killers (LAK)" (1991). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9202790.