Thirteen monoclonal antibodies directed against squamous cell carcinoma antigens (SCCA1 and SCCA2) were obtained from five international collaborating laboratories participating in the ISOBM TD-10 Workshop. Native and recombinant forms of SCCA were used in a wide variety of approaches to determine the reactivity and specificity of these antibodies. Based on reactivity, the antibodies could be divided into three groups: the SCCA1-reactive group containing those that reacted only with recombinant SCCA1 (rSCCA1) and native SCCA1 (nSCCA1) antigens, the SCCA2-reactive group containing those that reacted only with recombinant SCCA2 (rSCCA2), and the pan-reactive group containing those antibodies that reacted with rSCCA1, nSCCA1, and rSCCA2. Binding to radioiodinated rSCCA1 showed that all reactive antibodies were of a high affinity (Kd <2 × 10-9 mol/l). Binding to labelled rSCCA2 demonstrated that five antibodies were of a high affinity (Kd <2 × 10-9 mol/l). Antibody reactivity on Western blots was tested with nonreduced and reduced native and recombinant SCCA1 and SCCA2. In general, these findings showed that reduction had little effect on binding to SCCA1, but often a strong effect on the binding to SCCA2. Binding of antibodies to rSCCA1 and rSCCA2 in complexes with cathepsin L and G, respectively, was used to assist in the localization of epitope regions in enzyme-complexed SCCA. Cross-inhibition experiments showed that SCCA1-reactive antibodies represent two different epitope groups, and this is supported by their ability to make SCCA1-specific assays by combining antibodies from the two epitope groups. The SCCA2-reactive group represents two related antibodies and one unique as seen in cross-inhibition, but they do not form successful assay combinations. Classification of the pan-reactive antibodies is more difficult, as some epitope groups differ when results from rSCCA1 are compared with rSCCA2 as the target. However, two antibodies are outstanding, SCC107 and SCC113, as they are high-affinity antibodies which react equally well with free and protease complexes of SCCA1 and SCCA2. The precise location of epitopes was further studied using sequential overlapping peptides and homology modelling. The findings from this workshop strongly indicate that the recombinant antigens (rSCCA1 and rSCCA2) are very similar in epitope structure to the native counterparts in saliva, and squamous epithelium from normal and cancer tissues. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the specificities found are reliable and have application for antibody measurement of all forms of squamous cell carcinoma in serum except SCCA2 in complex with its protease.
- Epitope mapping
- Monoclonal antibodies
- Squamous cell carcinoma antigen