The secretion and nature of mucins produced from a panel of recently available new gastric and colon carcinoma cell lines (LIM1839, LIM1215, LIM1863, LIM1899, LIM2099, LIM2405, LIM2408, LIM2412, LIM2463), as well as other colon (LS174T, HT29, HT29-SB, COLO533, COLO206), breast (T47D, MCF-7, BT20, ZR75-1) and ovarian (COLO316) tumor cell lines, was investigated. ELISA and Western blotting of the culture supernatants with novel anti-MUC1 and anti-MUC2 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for mucin core proteins showed their secretion by most of these cell lines. In addition, mucins produced by these cell lines expressed the tumor-associated carbohydrate detected by MAb 3E1.2 (glycolylsialyl-Tn, mammary serum antigen or MSA) and the Tn or T antigens reactive with lectin SSA-M. SSA-M detected MUC1 or MUC2 captured by MAbs BC2 or CCP58, while 3E1.2 only detected MUC1-associated carbohydrate, indicating that the MAb may react with a conformationally dependent epitope, or that the sialyl/glycolyl-transferases involved in MSA production may be sequence specific. In addition, the BC2/SSA-M and CCP58/SSA-M assays detected mucins in some samples which were not detected by BC2/BC2 or CCP58/CCP58 dual determinant assays, indicating that this format may be more appropriate for the detection of tumor-associated mucins in body fluids. These new cell lines and assays should be of use in the investigation of mucin core proteins, particularly LIM2463 and LIM1839 which express significant quantities of both MUC1 and MUC2.