Autoantibodies targeting tumor-associated antigens in metastatic cancer: Sialylated IgGs as candidate anti-inflammatory antibodies


Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, Aurora Research Institute


In addition to the well-established effector functions of IgGs, including direct cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, some populations of IgGs may exert anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we describe a population of antibodies that form in the natural course of metastatic cancer and contain glycans that terminate with sialic acid. We demonstrate that both the titer of these antibodies and their level of sialylation are relatively stable throughout the progression of metastatic melanoma. The sialylation pattern of these antibodies somehow correlates with their specificity for tumor-associated antigens, as IgGs targeting several antigens associated with infectious agents are relatively poor of sialic acid. We also show that some antibodies targeting the melanoma-associated antigen NY-ESO-1 bind to the human C-type lectin CD209 (DC-SIGN). We propose that these antibodies are candidate anti-inflammatory antibodies. The presence of anti-inflammatory antibodies in cancer patients may explain, at least in part, why tumors persist and spread in the host despite strong tumor-specific humoral responses. The elucidation of the cellular and molecular pathways involved in the induction of anti-inflammatory antibodies specific for tumor-associated antigens and their function may yield important insights into how tumors evade immune detection and progress.

Document Type


PubMed ID


Link to Full Text