• tumor antigens;
  • serological screening;
  • yeast surface display;
  • cDNA expression library


A yeast cell surface display technology was used for the isolation and characterization of tumor antigens recognised by autologous or allogeneic breast cancer serum. More than 100 clones recognized by patient serum were isolated using high-through-put fluorescence activated cell sorting. Combined serological and sequence analysis confirmed that a number of proteins known to be overexpressed in breast cancer tissue could be detected. A recently identified small breast epithelial mucin almost exclusively expressed in mammary gland tissue was isolated as a mutated protein variant. Subsequent serological analysis using the yeast expression system for the wild-type and mutant form showed a strong recognition by patient sera, whereas no significant recognition was observed for the respective prokaryotically expressed proteins. The small breast epithelial mucin is present to a large extent in a membrane bound format and might be used for tumor targeting strategies. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.