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Keywords:

  • α1-acid glycoprotein;
  • fucosylation;
  • crossed affinoimmunoeletrophoresis;
  • glycoforms;
  • diagnosis;
  • prognosis

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Serum α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), an acute-phase protein secreted by the liver, carries α(1,3)-fucosylated structures on its 5 highly branched, N-linked sugar chains.

METHODS

Serum AGP levels in patients with various types of malignancies (n = 214 patients) were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with anti-AGP antibody. To investigate glycoforms that differed in their degree of branching and extent of fucosylation, serum AGP samples were analyzed by crossed affinoimmunoelectrophoresis (CAIE) with concanavalin A, and Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL), and anti-AGP antibody.

RESULTS

A significant difference (P < 0.001) in serum AGP levels was observed in preoperative patients compared with levels in the healthy control group, but the levels in individual patients did not reflect their clinical status. Conversely, it was found not only that the patterns of AGP glycoforms differed widely in the patient group compared with the healthy control group, but they also changed depending on each patient's clinical status. Furthermore, AGP glycoforms seemed to be appropriate markers of disease progression and prognosis according to follow-up studies of 45 patients during prolonged preoperative and postoperative periods.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with advanced malignancies who had AGP glycoforms that contained highly fucosylated triantennary and tetraantennary sugar chains for long periods after surgery were likely to have a poor prognosis. However, patients who had AGP glycoforms without such changes were expected to have a good prognosis. Cancer 2004. © 2004 American Cancer Society.