Gene Summary

Gene:MAGEB2; melanoma antigen family B2
Aliases: DAM6, CT3.2, MAGE-XP-2
Summary:This gene is a member of the MAGEB gene family. The members of this family have their entire coding sequences located in the last exon, and the encoded proteins show 50 to 68% sequence identity to each other. The promoters and first exons of the MAGEB genes show considerable variability, suggesting that the existence of this gene family enables the same function to be expressed under different transcriptional controls. This gene is localized in the DSS (dosage-sensitive sex reversal) critical region. It is expressed in testis and placenta, and in a significant fraction of tumors of various histological types. The MAGEB genes are clustered on chromosome Xp22-p21. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:melanoma-associated antigen B2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 21 August, 2015

Cancer Overview

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Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 21 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 21 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: MAGEB2 (cancer-related)

Yamada R, Takahashi A, Torigoe T, et al.
Preferential expression of cancer/testis genes in cancer stem-like cells: proposal of a novel sub-category, cancer/testis/stem gene.
Tissue Antigens. 2013; 81(6):428-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer/testis (CT) antigens encoded by CT genes are immunogenic antigens, and the expression of CT gene is strictly restricted to only the testis among mature organs. Therefore, CT antigens are promising candidates for cancer immunotherapy. In a previous study, we identified a novel CT antigen, DNAJB8. DNAJB8 was found to be preferentially expressed in cancer stem-like cells (CSCs)/cancer-initiating cells (CICs), and it is thus a novel CSC antigen. In this study, we hypothesized that CT genes are preferentially expressed in CSCs/CICs rather than in non-CSCs/-CICs and we examined the expression of CT genes in CSCs/CICs. The expression of 74 CT genes was evaluated in side population (SP) cells (=CSC) and main population (MP) cells (=non-CSC) derived from LHK2 lung adenocarcinoma cells, SW480 colon adenocarcinoma cells and MCF7 breast adenocarcinoma cells by RT-PCR and real-time PCR. Eighteen genes (MAGEA2, MAGEA3, MAGEA4, MAGEA6, MAGEA12, MAGEB2, GAGE1, GAGE8, SPANXA1, SPANXB1, SPANXC, XAGE2, SPA17, BORIS, PLU-1, SGY-1, TEX15 and CT45A1) showed higher expression levels in SP cells than in MP cells, whereas 10 genes (BAGE1, BAGE2, BAGE4, BAGE5, XAGE1, LIP1, D40, HCA661, TDRD1 and TPTE) showed similar expression levels in SP cells and MP cells. Thus, considerable numbers of CT genes showed preferential expression in CSCs/CICs. We therefore propose a novel sub-category of CT genes in this report: cancer/testis/stem (CTS) genes.

Pattani KM, Soudry E, Glazer CA, et al.
MAGEB2 is activated by promoter demethylation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(9):e45534 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although promoter hypermethylation has been an accepted means of tumor suppressor gene inactivation, activation of otherwise normally repressed proto-oncogenes by promoter demethylation has been infrequently documented.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In this study we performed an integrative, whole-genome analysis for discovery of epigenetically activated proto-oncogenes in head and neck cancer tumors. We used the 47K GeneChip U133 Plus 2.0 Affymetrix expression microarray platform to obtain re-expression data from 5-aza treated normal cell line and expression data from primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) tumor tissues and normal mucosa tissues. We then investigated candidate genes by screening promoter regions for CpG islands and bisulfite sequencing followed by QUMSP and RT PCR for the best candidate genes. Finally, functional studies were performed on the top candidate gene.
RESULTS: From the top 178 screened candidates 96 had CpG islands in their promoter region. Seven candidate genes showed promoter region methylation in normal mucosa samples and promoter demethylation in a small cohort of primary HNSCC tissues. We then studied the demethylation of the top 3 candidate genes in an expanded cohort of 76 HNSCC tissue samples and 17 normal mucosa samples. We identified MAGEB2 as having significant promoter demethylation in primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tissues. We then found significantly higher expression of MAGEB2 in tumors in a separate cohort of 73 primary HNSCC tissues and 31 normal tissues. Finally, we found that MAGEB2 has growth promoting effects on minimally transformed oral keratinocyte cell lines but not a definite effect on HNSCC cell lines.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we identified MAGEB2 as activated by promoter demethylation in HNSCCand demonstrates growth promoting effects in a minimally transformed oral keratinocyte cell line. More studies are needed to evaluate MAGBE2's exact role in HNSCC.

van Duin M, Broyl A, de Knegt Y, et al.
Cancer testis antigens in newly diagnosed and relapse multiple myeloma: prognostic markers and potential targets for immunotherapy.
Haematologica. 2011; 96(11):1662-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In multiple myeloma, expression of cancer testis antigens may provide prognostic markers and potential targets for immunotherapy. Expression at relapse has not yet been evaluated for a large panel of cancer testis antigens which can be classified by varying expression in normal tissue: restricted to testis, expressed in testis and brain and not restricted but selectively expressed in testis.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Evaluation of cancer testis antigen expression was made in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma cases (HOVON-65/GMMG-HD4 trial; n = 320) and in relapse cases (APEX, SUMMIT, CREST trials; n = 264). Presence of expression using Affymetrix GeneChips was determined for 123 cancer testis antigens. Of these 87 had a frequency of more than 5% in the newly diagnosed and relapsed patients, and were evaluated in detail.
RESULTS: Tissue restriction was known for 58 out of 87 cancer testis antigens. A significantly lower frequency of presence calls in the relapsed compared to newly diagnosed cases was found for 3 out of 13 testis restricted genes, 2 out of 7 testis/brain restricted genes, and 17 out of 38 testis selective genes. MAGEC1, MAGEB2 and SSX1 were the most frequent testis-restricted cancer testis antigens in both data sets. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that presence of MAGEA6 and CDCA1 were clearly associated with shorter progression free survival, and presence of MAGEA9 with shorter overall survival in the set of newly diagnosed cases. In the set of relapse cases, presence of CTAG2 was associated with shorter progression free survival and presence of SSX1 with shorter overall survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Relapsed multiple myeloma reveals extensive cancer testis antigen expression. Cancer testis antigens are confirmed as useful prognostic markers in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients and in relapsed multiple myeloma patients. The HOVON-65/GMMG-HD4 trial is registered under Dutch trial register n. NTR-213. CREST, SUMMIT and APEX trials were registered under ns. M34100-024, M34100-025 and NCT00049478/NCT00048230, respectively.

Almstedt M, Blagitko-Dorfs N, Duque-Afonso J, et al.
The DNA demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine induces expression of NY-ESO-1 and other cancer/testis antigens in myeloid leukemia cells.
Leuk Res. 2010; 34(7):899-905 [PubMed] Related Publications
Azanucleoside DNA-hypomethylating agents have remarkable clinical activity in myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), particularly at low, non-cytotoxic doses favoring hypomethylation over cytotoxicity. Cancer/testis antigens (CTAs) encoding immunogenic proteins are not expressed in almost all normal tissues and many tumor types, but are consistently derepressed by epigenetically active agents in various cancer cell lines. Since the expression of CTA genes is usually very low or absent in myeloid leukemias, we treated various AML cell lines with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC) and quantified mRNA expression of the CTAs NY-ESO-1, MAGEA1, MAGEA3 and MAGEB2. Consistent time- and dose-dependent reactivation of all 4 CTA genes was observed, with maximum mRNA levels 72-144h after treatment start. As determined by RNA microarray analyses, numerous other CTA genes (all located on the X-chromosome) were also derepressed in a time-dependent fashion by DAC. NY-ESO-1 derepression was confirmed at the protein level. By Elispot and chromium release assays we showed that the de novo expressed NY-ESO-1 protein was naturally processed and presented in a time- and dose-dependent fashion up to 8 days after the start of DAC treatment, and converted the cell lines susceptible to antigen-specific recognition by CD8+ T-cell clones. In conclusion, NY-ESO-1 and numerous other CTAs localized on the X-chromosome are readily and transiently derepressed in AML cell lines treated with DAC. The susceptibility of DAC-treated AML cell lines to antigen-specific T-cell recognition has clear implications for future clinical trials combining DAC and specific immunotherapy in AML.

Szatanek R, Drabik G, Baran J, et al.
Detection of isolated tumour cells in the blood and bone marrow of patients with gastric cancer by combined sorting, isolation and determination of MAGE-1, -2 mRNA expression.
Oncol Rep. 2008; 19(4):1055-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
The detection of isolated (circulating or disseminated) tumour cells (ITC) in patients with cancer requires very sensitive methods, as such cells are very rare. In the present study, the method that combines the negative isolation of CD45- leukocytes from the blood and bone marrow of patients with gastric cancer by flow cytometry, followed by the positive isolation of single cytokeratin-positive (CK+) cells by a Laser Capture Microdissection System for the determination of MAGE-1, -2 mRNA expression was used to detect ITC. This study shows that this method is highly sensitive as it allows to determine beta-actin-mRNA expression in a single CK+ cell. Using > or =5 CK+ cells as a cut-off level, the MAGE-1 mRNA expression was detected in 100% of CK+ cells in the peripheral blood and in 75% of bone marrow samples of patients with gastric cancer. The MAGE-2 mRNA expression was observed in 40 and 58% of samples, respectively. Furthermore, an analysis of primary tumours and locoreginal lymph nodes with respect to the mRNA expression of the two genes showed that MAGE-1 mRNA expression was detected in 88% of the primary tumours and in 67% of the lymph node samples, whereas the MAGE-2 mRNA expression was observed in 72 and 67% of the cases, respectively. Thus, the method described here allows the precise and sensitive determination of tumour-associated gene expression in single ITC present in the blood and bone marrow of patients with gastric cancer.

Krämer BF, Schoor O, Krüger T, et al.
MAGED4-expression in renal cell carcinoma and identification of an HLA-A*25-restricted MHC class I ligand from solid tumor tissue.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2005; 4(9):943-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
MAGE derived HLA ligands have repeatedly been shown to elicit T-cell responses against tumor cells. In renal cell carcinoma (RCC), however, only few T-cell epitopes from cancer testis antigens have been described. To identify potential candidates, we applied a combined approach of microarray/qPCR expression analysis and sequencing of HLA ligands from RCC by mass spectrometry. We analyzed the expression of 21 MAGE genes in ten RCC samples and two glioblastoma samples and could identify the first MHC class I ligand NIGDEALIGRW from MAGED4 presented by HLA-A*25 on RCC solid tumor tissue. MAGED4 was expressed in 30% of RCC and both glioblastoma samples. Among the other MAGE family members only MAGEB2 and -C1 and the broadly expressed MAGED1, -D2, -F1 and -H1 were expressed in RCC. Ligands from MAGED4 could thus be interesting tumor-associated antigens in a subset of RCC, even though the identified ligand is presented by a rather rare allele.

Sypniewska RK, Hoflack L, Bearss DJ, Gravekamp C
Potential mouse tumor model for pre-clinical testing of mage-specific breast cancer vaccines.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2002; 74(3):221-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Currently, there is a lack of suitable pre-clinical mouse models for testing and optimization of experimental cancer vaccines. Here, in situ developed mammary tumors of MMTV-v-Ha-ras and MMTV-c-myc transgenic mice and normal mammary, liver, spleen, and testis were screened for expression of tumor-associated antigens (TAA) Mage-b1/2/3 by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Southern blot hybridization. Mage-b1/2/3 are homologues of the human TAA MAGE-B1/2/3. Expression of these human MAGE genes has been found in tumors of various histological types, including breast cancer. Mage-specific RT-PCR products (using primers that amplify all three Mage-b1/2/3) were detected in mammary tumors of the MMTV-v-Ha-ras and MMTV-c-myc transgenic mice and in testis, but not in other normal tissues. RT-PCR products obtained from the mammary tumors (using primers that amplify the complete protein-encoding region of Mage-b1/2/3) were cloned and sequenced, and appeared to be most homologous with Mage-b3. Comparison of the Mage-b3 gene in mammary tumors and normal tissues suggest that somatic mutations did not occur in the Mage-b3 gene of the ras- and myc-induced mammary tumors. In addition, no differences were found between the Mage-b3 cDNA of testis, the only normal tissue that expresses Mage-b3, and Mage-b3 in genomic DNA of normal kidney, where Mage-b3 is silent. The MMTV-v-Ha-ras and MMTV-c-myc transgenic mice of this study are the first immune competent mouse models with in situ developed mammary tumors in which the expression of Mage-b3 TAA has been demonstrated. This makes them potentially suitable as a mouse model for pre-clinical testing of Mage-specific cancer vaccines in vivo.

Tarte K, De Vos J, Thykjaer T, et al.
Generation of polyclonal plasmablasts from peripheral blood B cells: a normal counterpart of malignant plasmablasts.
Blood. 2002; 100(4):1113-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
A new way to identify tumor-specific genes is to compare gene expression profiles between malignant cells and their autologous normal counterparts. In patients with multiple myeloma, a major plasma cell disorder, normal plasma cells are not easily attainable in vivo. We report here that in vitro differentiation of peripheral blood B lymphocytes, purified from healthy donors and from patients with multiple myeloma, makes it possible to obtain a homogeneous population of normal plasmablastic cells. These cells were identified by their morphology, phenotype, production of polyclonal immunoglobulins, and expression of major transcription factors involved in B-cell differentiation. Oligonucleotide microarray analysis shows that these polyclonal plasmablastic cells have a gene expression pattern close to that of normal bone marrow-derived plasma cells. Detailed analysis of genes statistically differentially expressed between normal and tumor plasma cells allows the identification of myeloma-specific genes, including oncogenes and genes coding for tumor antigens. These data should help to disclose the molecular mechanisms of myeloma pathogenesis and to define new therapeutic targets in this still fatal malignancy. In addition, the comparison of gene expression between plasmablastic cells and B cells provides a new and powerful tool to identify genes specifically involved in normal plasma cell differentiation.

Park JW, Kwon TK, Kim IH, et al.
A new strategy for the diagnosis of MAGE-expressing cancers.
J Immunol Methods. 2002; 266(1-2):79-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
The expression of melanoma antigen gene (MAGE), coding for tumor antigens recognized by cytotoxic T cell, is highly specific to cancer cells, but their use in the detection of a few cancer cells by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) has been limited by the low frequency of expression of individual MAGE genes. In order to increase MAGE detection rate in RT-PCR assay, here, we designed multiple MAGEs recognizing primers (MMRPs) that can bind to the sequences of cDNA of MAGE-1, -2, -3, -4a, -4b, -5a, -5b and-6 (MAGE 1-6) together. The nested RT-PCR assay using MMRPs, MAGE 1-6 assay, detected MAGE messages of 1 to 5 SNU484 cells in a background of 10(7) SNU638 cells. MAGE detection rate of MAGE 1-6 assay in cancers was higher than that of nested RT-PCR that detects single MAGE gene expression. The expressions of MAGE genes was detected by MAGE 1-6 assay in 70.4% (19/27) of head and neck cancer tissues, 91.7% (11/12) of breast cancer tissues, 75% (9/12) of lung cancer tissues. However, they were not detected in 18 benign lesions and 20 normal head and neck tissues and 30 blood samples from healthy donor. In conclusions, MAGE 1-6 assay can detect any cancer cells that express at least one of eight MAGE subtype genes, and this method may be very useful for the diagnosis of MAGE-expressing cancers.

Sigalotti L, Coral S, Nardi G, et al.
Promoter methylation controls the expression of MAGE2, 3 and 4 genes in human cutaneous melanoma.
J Immunother. 2002 Jan-Feb; 25(1):16-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer-testis antigens expressed by different-histotype transformed cells are suitable targets for tumor immunotherapy. However, their heterogeneous expression in neoplastic lesions limits the eligibility of patients for cancer-testis antigen-directed vaccination, and low levels of cancer-testis antigens' expression may impair immune recognition of malignant cells. Because of the primary clinical relevance of cancer-testis antigens' expression in neoplastic tissues, 68 unrelated or sequential metastatic lesions from 56 patients were used to characterize the molecular mechanisms regulating the presence and levels of expression of different cancer-testis antigens of the MAGE family (i.e., MAGE2, 3 and 4) in cutaneous melanoma. Polymerase chain reaction-based methylation analyses showed that methylation status of specific cytosine-guanine dinucleotides in the promoters of investigated cancer-testis antigens correlated with their heterogeneous expression within unrelated metastatic melanoma lesions, and with their homogeneous expression among sequential metastases from three patients with melanoma. Unlike methylated promoters, unmethylated promoters of MAGE2, 3 and 4 genes drove the expression of reporter gene-enhanced green fluorescent protein after transient transfection of cancer-testis antigen-positive Mel 142 melanoma cells. Furthermore, de novo expression of MAGE3 gene induced by the treatment of Mel 195 melanoma cells with the DNA hypomethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine was associated with a 6%-12% demethylation of selected cytosine-guanine dinucleotides in its promoter. Finally, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine induced a 16-fold increase of MAGE3 expression in Mel 313 melanoma cells expressing constitutively low levels of the antigen, but did not affect that of Mel 275 melanoma cells expressing high baseline levels of MAGE3. Overall, these findings identify promoter methylation as a shared mechanism directly regulating the expression of therapeutic cancer-testis antigens in metastatic melanomas, and foresee the clinical use of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine to design new chemoimmunotherapeutic strategies in patients with melanoma.

Mou DC, Cai SL, Peng JR, et al.
Evaluation of MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 as tumour-specific markers to detect blood dissemination of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Br J Cancer. 2002; 86(1):110-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The members of MAGE gene family are highly expressed in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the present study, we tested the tumour-specific MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 transcripts in the peripheral blood of HCC patients by nested RT-PCR to detect the circulating tumour cells and evaluate their potential clinical implication. Of 30 HCC patients, the positive rate of MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 transcripts was 43.3% (13 out of 30) and 33.3% (10 out of 30) in PBMC samples, whilst the positive rate was 70% (21 out of 30) and 53.3% (16 out of 30) in the resected HCC tissue samples, respectively. The positivity for at least one MAGE gene transcript was 63.3% (19 out of 30) in PBMC samples of HCC patients and 83.3% (25 out of 30) in the resected HCC tissue samples. MAGE-1 and/or MAGE-3 mRNA were not detected in the PBMC of those patients from whom the resected HCC tissues were MAGE-1 or MAGE-3 mRNA negative, nor in the 25 PBMC samples from healthy donors. The detection of MAGE transcripts in PBMC was correlated with the advanced stages and tumour size of the HCC, being 82.4% (14 out of 17) in tumour stages III and IVa, 56.6% (five out of nine) in stage II, and null (nought out of four) in stage I. The serum alpha-FP in 33.3% (10 out of 30) of HCC patients was normal or slightly elevated (< 40 ng ml(-1)). However, six of these 10 patients (alpha-FP < 40 ng ml(-1)) were MAGE-1 and /or MAGE-3 mRNA positive in their PBMC. The follow-up survey of MAGE mRNA in PBMC was performed in 12 patients. Seven patients with persistent MAGE-1 and/or MAGE-3 mRNA positive or from negative turned to positive died because of metastasis and/or recurrence. In striking contrast, all four patients with MAGE-1 and/or MAGE-3 mRNA from positive turned to negative and one patient with persistent MAGE-3 transcript negative are alive after last test. Collectively, detection of MAGE transcripts with follow-up survey in PBMC is a feasible and reliable assay for the early prediction of the relapse and prognosis of the HCC patients.

Barnea E, Beer I, Patoka R, et al.
Analysis of endogenous peptides bound by soluble MHC class I molecules: a novel approach for identifying tumor-specific antigens.
Eur J Immunol. 2002; 32(1):213-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Human MHC Project aims at comprehensive cataloging of peptides presented within the context of different human leukocyte antigens (HLA) expressed by cells of various tissue origins, both in health and in disease. Of major interest are peptides presented on cancer cells, which include peptides derived from tumor antigens that are of interest for immunotherapy. Here, HLA-restricted tumor-specific antigens were identified by transfecting human breast, ovarian and prostate tumor cell lines with truncated genes of HLA-A2 and HLA-B7. Soluble HLA secreted by these cell lines were purified by affinity chromatography and analyzed by nano-capillary electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. Typically, a large peptide pool was recovered and sequenced including peptides derived from MAGE-B2 and mucin and other new tumor-derived antigens that may serve as potential candidates for immunotherapy.

Jang SJ, Soria JC, Wang L, et al.
Activation of melanoma antigen tumor antigens occurs early in lung carcinogenesis.
Cancer Res. 2001; 61(21):7959-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
The melanoma antigen (MAGE)-encoding genes are expressed in various tumor types, including lung, and are thought to be silent in all normal tissues except testis. In search of biomarkers for early lung cancer detection and cancer risk assessment, we investigated frequencies of expressional activation of MAGE-A1, -A3, and -B2 genes in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Expression of these genes was evaluated by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) in 20 primary NSCLC samples and corresponding normal lung tissues as well as in 20 bronchial brush specimens from former smokers without lung cancer. mRNA in situ hybridization was done to confirm the gene expression pattern at the cellular level. Methylation-specific PCR was performed to evaluate the hypomethylation status of CpG sites in the promoter regions of these genes. Among the 20 primary NSCLC samples analyzed, 14 (70%) expressed MAGE-A1 and 17 (85%) each expressed MAGE-A3 and MAGE-B2. A substantial number of normal lung tissues adjacent to NSCLC also had a detectable level of MAGE expression (65, 75, and 80% for MAGE-A1, -A3, and -B2, respectively). We found that 7 (35%), 10 (50%), and 11 (55%) of the adjacent normal lung tissue samples exhibited promoter hypomethylation at MAGE-A1, -A3, and -B2, respectively, compared with 15 (75%), 16 (80%), and 16 (80%) of the NSCLC samples. Among the 20 bronchial epithelium samples from former smokers, 7 (35%), 10 (50%), and 12 (60%) had also detectable -A1, -A3, and -B2 expression, respectively. Activation of MAGE-A1, -A3, and -B2 genes is common not only in NSCLC but also in bronchial epithelium with severe carcinogen insult. These results suggest that MAGE genes may be activated very early in lung carcinogenesis and may be considered as targets for lung cancer prevention.

Cheung IY, Cheung NK
Detection of microscopic disease: comparing histology, immunocytology, and RT-PCR of tyrosine hydroxylase, GAGE, and MAGE.
Med Pediatr Oncol. 2001; 36(1):210-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We first explored the use of multiple molecular markers to overcome tumor heterogeneity. Sixty-seven neuroblastoma (NB) tumors were tested for the expression of GAGE, MAGE-2, MAGE-2, MAGE-3, and MAGE-4 by RT-PCR and then chemiluminescence; 82% of tumors had detectable GAGE, and 88% expressed at least one of the four MAGE genes.
PROCEDURE AND RESULTS: By combining GAGE and MAGE, 64 of 67 (95%) of tumors became detectable; 17 of 67 coexpressed all five molecular markers. Neither GAGE nor MAGE expression correlated with stage. GAGE was found to have the broadest (18 of 18) expression among stage 4 tumors. Two hundred fifty-nine bone marrows from 99 patients were then studied for NB positivity by four detection methods: histology, immunocytology, and molecular detection by GAGE and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA. Two hundred seven samples were NB-positive by one detection method. All four techniques were comparable in detecting tumor cells at diagnosis and at relapse. GAGE and immunocytology were far more sensitive than histology and TH mRNA when marrows were sampled during chemotherapy and at the time of clinical remission.
CONCLUSIONS: By combining multiple molecular markers and independent screening techniques, we may be able to overcome tumor heterogeneity and expedite the detection of microscopic disease in the clinical management of neuroblastoma.

Dalerba P, Frascella E, Macino B, et al.
MAGE, BAGE and GAGE gene expression in human rhabdomyosarcomas.
Int J Cancer. 2001; 93(1):85-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
MAGE, BAGE and GAGE genes encode tumor-associated antigens that are presented by HLA class I molecules and recognized by CD8(+) cytolytic T lymphocytes. These antigens are currently regarded as promising targets for active, specific tumor immunotherapy because MAGE, BAGE and GAGE genes are expressed in many human cancers of different histotype and are silent in normal tissues, with the exception of spermatogonia and placental cells. MAGE, BAGE and GAGE gene expression has been extensively studied in different tumors of adults but is largely unknown in many forms of pediatric solid cancer. Using RT-PCR, we analyzed MAGE-1, MAGE-2, MAGE-3, MAGE-4, MAGE-6, BAGE, GAGE-1,-2 or -8 and GAGE-3,-4,-5,-6 or -7b gene expression in 31 samples of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma, the most frequent form of malignant soft tissue tumor in children. MAGE genes were expressed in a substantial proportion of patients (MAGE-1, 38%; MAGE-2, 51%; MAGE-3, 35%; MAGE-4, 22%; MAGE-6, 35%), while expression of BAGE (6%); GAGE-1, GAGE-2 and GAGE-8 (9%); and GAGE-3, GAGE-4, GAGE-5, GAGE-6 and GAGE-7B (16%) was less frequent. Overall, 58% of tumors expressed at least 1 gene, and 35% expressed 3 or more genes simultaneously. Our data suggest that a subset of rhabdomyosarcoma patients could be eligible for active, specific immunotherapy directed against MAGE, BAGE and GAGE antigens.

Zambon A, Mandruzzato S, Parenti A, et al.
MAGE, BAGE, and GAGE gene expression in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia.
Cancer. 2001; 91(10):1882-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The MAGE, BAGE, and GAGE gene families code for distinct, tumor specific antigens that are recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the context of HLA molecules. The purpose of this study was to analyze MAGE, BAGE, and GAGE gene expression in the two major histologic types of esophageal carcinoma, squamous carcinoma (ESCc) and adenocarcinoma (CAc), and to correlate their expression patterns with the principal prognostic parameters and long term survival.
METHODS: Gene expression was analyzed in surgical samples from 24 patients with ESCc and 24 patients with CAc by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction amplification (RT-PCR). None of the patients had received preoperative chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and all were followed until death or for a minimum of 4 years.
RESULTS: Sixteen ESCc samples (67%) and 9 CAc samples (37.5%) expressed at least one of the genes under study. The expression of each MAGE gene in the two histologic types was not significantly different, with the exception of MAGE-4, which was expressed more in ESCc samples than in CAc samples. BAGE and GAGE expression was rather low and, in every case, was associated with the expression of at least one MAGE gene.
CONCLUSIONS: In the group as a whole, and in both ESCc and CAc subgroups, no significant correlation emerged between the expression of any gene and prognostic parameters, such as pathologic tumor, lymph node, or disease stage. Nevertheless, BAGE or GAGE expression was related significantly to a poor prognosis, whereas the expression of MAGE genes (in the absence of BAGE and GAGE expression) was related significantly to a good prognosis.

Yuasa T, Okamoto K, Kawakami T, et al.
Expression patterns of cancer testis antigens in testicular germ cell tumors and adjacent testicular tissue.
J Urol. 2001; 165(5):1790-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The human cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) are a group of tumor specific antigens recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes whose expression occurs in human malignancies as well as in normal testicular tissue. We studied a series of CTA gene transcripts in testicular germ cell tumors of various histological types to test the hypothesis that the expression of CTA in testicular germ cell tumors reflects developmental stages of tumorigenesis rather than constitutive tumor antigens recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Total RNA was obtained from 31 primary and 3 metastatic testicular germ cell tumors, and 11 parenchymal tissues adjacent to the testicular germ cell tumors. We performed an expression study of the CTA genes MAGE-A, MAGE-B, GAGE, PAGE-1, HOM-MEL-40 (SSX2), NY-ESO-1, LAGE-1 and SCP-1 in these samples using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: The results showed that expression patterns of CTA genes depended on the histological differentiation of the testicular germ cell tumors. Overall CTA expression was more common in seminomas than in nonseminomatous germ cell tumors. Specifically all 13 seminomas (100%) demonstrated the positive expression of MAGE-B1 and MAGE-B2, while 3 of 17 nonseminomatous germ cell tumor samples (18%) showed positive expression of these genes. All 5 teratomatous elements (100%) had homogenous null expression with regard to all CTA genes examined. In addition, we detected deficiencies in CTA expression in 7 of 11 parenchymal tissues adjacent to the testicular germ cell tumors (64%).
CONCLUSIONS: These data support the idea that CTA transcripts in testicular germ cell tumors serve as developmental footprints of testicular germ cell tumors rather than as constitutive tumor antigens recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

Kim YM, Lee YH, Shin SH, et al.
Expression of MAGE-1, -2, and -3 genes in gastric carcinomas and cancer cell lines derived from Korean patients.
J Korean Med Sci. 2001; 16(1):62-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We investigated the expression of MAGE-1, -2, and -3 genes in tissues of 51 gastric carcinomas from Korean patients and in 11 gastric cancer cell lines established in Korea using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction along with immunohistochemical analyses and DNA sequencing. Among the 51 gastric carcinomas, MAGE-1, -2, and -3 genes were expressed in 16 (31%), 22 (43%), and 17 (33%), respectively, and 31 (60%) expressed at least one of the three genes. In contrast, none of the three MAGE genes were expressed in normal sites of gastric tissue from each cancer patient. Out of 11 gastric cancer cell lines, MAGE-1, -2, and -3 genes were expressed in two (18%), five (46%), and four (36%), respectively. According to the clinicopathological analysis, the expression of any of the three MAGE genes was not significantly correlated with several clinicopathological factors except histologic types (p= 0.067). Immunohistochemical analyses identified positive staining with monoclonal antibodies 77B and 57B specifically against MAGE-1 and -3 proteins, respectively, in nuclei and cytoplasms of cells in mRNA-positive tumor tissue. These findings suggest the possibility as a target for tumor-specific immunotherapy for Korean patients.

Nagashima H, Sadanaga N, Mashino K, et al.
Expression of MAGE-B genes in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Jpn J Cancer Res. 2001; 92(2):167-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The MAGE-B (MAGE-B1, -B2, -B3, and -B4) genes share strong homology with the MAGE-A gene family. MAGE-B1 and -B2 encode common tumor-specific peptide antigens. There is, however, still very little information about the expression of these genes in human gastro-intestinal carcinomas. We investigated the expression of MAGE-B1 and -B2 genes in 29 cell lines and 53 clinical tumor samples of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). MAGE-B1 and -B2 gene transcripts were detected by RT-PCR in 1 (3%) and 6 (21%) cell lines, and in 9 (17%) and 17 (32%) clinical samples, respectively. Among them, 7 / 29 (24%) cell lines and 19 / 53 (36%) clinical samples expressed at least either MAGE-B1 or -B2. A significant correlation was found between negative MAGE-B gene expression and vascular invasion (P = 0.008). In 45 out of 53 esophageal carcinoma RNA samples, the MAGE-A1, -A2, and -A3 genes were detected in 27 (60%), 23 (51%), and 30 (67%) samples, respectively, while the MAGE-B genes were detected in 18 (40%) samples. The frequency of MAGE-B gene expression in esophageal carcinoma was relatively higher than that observed for gastric or colorectal carcinomas (12% and 2%, respectively). Therefore, the MAGE-B genes could be used as targets in specific immunotherapy of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas.

Panelli MC, Bettinotti MP, Lally K, et al.
A tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte from a melanoma metastasis with decreased expression of melanoma differentiation antigens recognizes MAGE-12.
J Immunol. 2000; 164(8):4382-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Twenty separate tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) bulk cultures and a tumor cell line were originated simultaneously from a fine needle aspiration biopsy of a metastasis in a patient with melanoma (F001) previously immunized with the HLA-A*0201-associated gp100:209-217(210 M) peptide. None of the TIL recognized gp100. However, 12 recognized autologous (F001-MEL) and allogeneic melanoma cells expressing the HLA haplotype A*0201, B*0702, Cw*0702. Further characterization of F001-MEL demonstrated loss of gp100/PMel17, severely decreased expression of other melanoma differentiation Ags and retained expression of tumor-specific Ags. Transfection of HLA class I alleles into B*0702/Cw*0702-negative melanoma cell lines identified HLA-Cw*0702 as the restriction element for F001-TIL. A cDNA library from F001-MEL was used to transfect IFN-alpha-stimulated 293 human embryonal kidney (293-HEK) cells expressing HLA-Cw*0702. A 100-gene pool was identified that induced recognition of 293-HEK cells by F001-TIL. Subsequent cloning of the pool identified a cDNA sequence homologous, except for one amino acid (aa 187 D-->A), to MAGE-12. Among 25 peptide sequences from MAGE-12 with the HLA-Cw*0702 binding motif, MAGE-12:170-178 (VRIGHLYIL) induced IFN-gamma release by F001-TIL when pulsed on F001-EBV-B cells at concentrations as low as 10 pg/ml. Peptide sequences from MAGE-1, 2, 3, 4a, and 6 aligned to MAGE-12:170-178 were not recognized by F001-TIL. In summary a TIL recognizing a MAGE protein was developed from an HLA-A*0201 expressing tumor with strongly reduced expression of melanoma differentiation Ags. Persisting tumor-specific Ag expression maintained tumor immune competence suggesting that tumor-specific Ags/melanoma differentiation Ags may complement each other in the context of melanoma Ag-specific vaccination.

Granelli P, Siardi C, Zennaro F, et al.
Melanoma antigen genes 1 and 2 are differentially expressed in human gastric and cardial carcinomas.
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2000; 35(5):528-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MAGE genes encode for tumor-rejection antigens and are expressed in tumors of different histologic types but not in normal tissues, with the exception of testis and placenta. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of MAGE-1 and -2 expression in gastric and in cardial carcinomas; these conditions have been described as two distinct diseases, having different etiologies, epidemiologic patterns, and gene mutations.
METHODS: Two groups of patients were studied: patients with distal gastric carcinoma and patients with carcinoma of the cardia. A group of patients with intestinal metaplasia in the gastric mucosa and controls were also included. All of them underwent upper GI endoscopy. Paired biopsy specimens were taken for routine histology and for RNA extraction, to study the expression of MAGE-1 and -2 genes.
RESULTS: None of the intestinal metaplastic samples or controls expressed MAGE-1 and -2 at detectable levels. Whereas 40% of the gastric cancer patients expressed either MAGE-1 or -2, 26.6% transcribed both. In the cardial cancer group, 20% of the cases expressed at least one MAGE, and only 6.6% expressed both genes. These results might reinforce the concept that cancer of the cardia is a distinct neoplastic disease with regard to esophageal and gastric (distal) carcinomas.
CONCLUSIONS: Here we show that MAGE gene expression occurs in advanced stages of gastric and cardial cancer and therefore appears to be a late event. This might point to a reconsideration of their potential role in cancer immunotherapy.

Osanto S, Schiphorst PP, Weijl NI, et al.
Vaccination of melanoma patients with an allogeneic, genetically modified interleukin 2-producing melanoma cell line.
Hum Gene Ther. 2000; 11(5):739-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thirty-three metastatic melanoma patients were vaccinated according to a phase I-II study with an allogeneic melanoma cell line that was genetically modified by transfection with a plasmid containing the gene encoding human interleukin 2 (IL-2). The cell line expresses the major melanoma-associated antigens and the HLA class I alleles HLA-A1, -A2, -B8, and Cw7. All patients shared one or more HLA class I alleles with this cell line vaccine. Patients were immunized by three vaccinations, each consisting of 60 x 106 irradiated (100 Gy) melanoma cells (secreting 120 ng of IL-2/10(6) cells/24 hr) administered subcutaneously at weekly intervals for 3 consecutive weeks. Side effects of treatment consisted of swelling of locoregional lymph nodes and induration at the site of injection, i.e., a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction. In three patients, vaccination induced inflammatory responses in distant metastases containing necrosis or apoptosis along with T cell infiltration. Apoptosis occurred only in Bcl-2-negative areas, not in Bcl-2-expressing parts of the metastases. Two other patients experienced complete or partial regression of subcutaneous metastases. Seven patients had protracted stabilization (4 to >46 months) of soft tissue metastases, including one patient who developed vitiligo after vaccination. Immune responses to the vaccine could be detected in 67% of the 27 patients measured. Vaccination was shown to induce a variable change in the number of anti-vaccine cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in peripheral blood, which did not correlate with response to treatment. However, in two of five patients the frequency of anti-autologous tumor CTLs measured was significantly higher than before vaccination. This study demonstrates the feasibility, safety, and therapeutic potential of vaccination of humans with allogeneic, gene-modified tumor cells, and that frequencies of vaccine-specific CTLs among patient lymphocytes can be determined by using a modified limited dilution analysis (LDA).

Suzuki K, Tsujitani S, Konishi I, et al.
Expression of MAGE genes and survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 1999; 15(6):1227-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The human melanoma antigen (MAGE) gene family encode tumor-specific antigens recognized by autologous cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Some of these antigens may be potentially useful for cancer-specific immunotherapy. The expression of MAGE genes has been reported not only in melanoma but also in various other malignant tumors. However, little is known about the expression of these genes in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We therefore analyzed, by means of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the expression of MAGE-1, MAGE-2, and MAGE-3 genes in 60 tissue samples resected from HCCs. The MAGE-1, MAGE-2, and MAGE-3 genes were expressed in 18 (30.0%), 9 (15.0%), and 15 (25.0%), respectively, of the 60 tumor-tissue samples. Nineteen (31.7%) samples expressed at least one of the three MAGE genes, and 8 (13.3%) expressed all three genes. In contrast, none of the MAGE genes was expressed in any of the 60 adjacent non-tumorous liver samples. The age of patients was significantly older in at least one MAGE-positive group (MAGE-positive groups) than in the MAGE-negative ones (p<0.05). The tumor size was significantly larger in MAGE-positive groups than in the negative ones (p<0.05). The serum alpha-fetoprotein level was significantly lower in MAGE-positive groups than in negative ones (p<0.05). Patients with tumors expressing at least one MAGE gene showed a better recurrence-free survival rate than those with tumors showing no MAGE gene expression (p<0.05). These results indicated that the MAGE genes were exclusively expressed in cancerous tissues of a considerable proportion of patients affected by HCC, and that some of these patients might be potential candidates for tumor-specific immunotherapy using the MAGE encoded antigens.

Tanzarella S, Russo V, Lionello I, et al.
Identification of a promiscuous T-cell epitope encoded by multiple members of the MAGE family.
Cancer Res. 1999; 59(11):2668-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
One of the major limitations of tumor-specific vaccination is the generation of antigen-loss variants that are able to escape the immune response elicited by a monoantigenic peptide epitope. Here, we report the identification of a new HLA-B*3701-restricted epitope shared by four different members of the MAGE family. Peripheral blood lymphocytes isolated from a melanoma patient were stimulated in vitro with the autologous HLA-negative melanoma line transfected with autologous HLA B*3701 molecule. This protocol led to the induction of tumor-specific, B*3701-restricted CTLs specific for a peptide epitope encoded by codons 127-136 of the gene MAGE-1. The same epitope is also encoded by the homologous region of three other members of the MAGE family, MAGE-2, -3, and -6. Consistent with the notion that the peptide encoded by MAGE-1 codons 127-136 is, indeed, processed from the proteins encoded by all four MAGE family members, the CTLs were able to specifically recognize Cos-7 cells cotransfected with HLA-B*3701 and any of these MAGE genes. Moreover, the CTLs also recognized a MAGE-6-positive melanoma line transfected with the B*3701 molecule. These findings allow the inclusion of a new set of tumor patients into clinical cancer vaccination trials. Furthermore, they suggest that some promiscuous peptide epitopes shared by different members of the MAGE family might be less prone to escape the immune response by generation of MAGE antigen loss variants.

Chen CH, Huang GT, Lee HS, et al.
High frequency of expression of MAGE genes in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Liver. 1999; 19(2):110-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS/BACKGROUND: Activation of human MAGE genes leads to the expression of a set of tumor rejection antigens, which are recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The antigens may become the targets of immunotherapy. The expression of MAGE genes was originally found in, but is not restricted, to melanomas. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of MAGE genes in human hepatocellular carcinomas.
METHODS: The expression of MAGE-1, -2, -3, -4 genes in tumorous and corresponding non-tumorous liver tissue was studied using a reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: In the 50 hepatocellular carcinomas studied, MAGE-1, -2, -3, -4 mRNA expression was detected in 23 (46%), 17 (34%), 21 (42%) and 8 (16%), respectively. Seventy-four percent of the hepatocellular carcinomas expressed at least one of the MAGE genes. MAGE mRNAs were not detected in the corresponding non-tumor liver tissues. MAGE gene expression was not significantly correlated with clinicopathological factors.
CONCLUSIONS: The MAGE genes are expressed in a high percentage of hepatocellular carcinomas; the MAGE gene products are potential targets for tumor-specific immunotherapy.

Hara I, Hara S, Miyake H, et al.
Expression of MAGE genes in testicular germ cell tumors.
Urology. 1999; 53(4):843-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Some of the MAGE gene family that encode tumor-rejection antigens recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes are expressed at the mRNA level in various malignant tumors. However, these genes are silent in normal tissues, except in the testis and placenta. It is therefore important to understand how MAGE gene expression changes with malignant transformation of the testis. We investigated the expression of MAGE-1, -2, -3, and -4 genes at the mRNA level in testicular germ cell tumors.
METHODS: Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction for MAGE genes was performed using 32 testicular germ cell tumor specimens.
RESULTS: MAGE-1, -2, -3, and -4 mRNA was detected in 16 (72%), 15 (68%), 18 (82%), and 17 (77%) of 22 patients with pure seminoma or mixed type with seminomatous elements. MAGE-1 , -2, -3, and -4 mRNA was found in 2 (20%), 5 (50%), 4 (40%), and 4 (40%) of 10 patients with nonseminomatous germ cell tumor (NSGCT). The expression rate of MAGE-1, -3, and -4 mRNA was significantly higher in patients with seminomatous elements than that in those with NSGCT. MAGE expression did not correlate with disease progression.
CONCLUSIONS: MAGE genes are more preserved in seminoma than in NSGCT. This suggests that seminoma has traits more similar to normal testis than does NSGCT.

Scarcella DL, Chow CW, Gonzales MF, et al.
Expression of MAGE and GAGE in high-grade brain tumors: a potential target for specific immunotherapy and diagnostic markers.
Clin Cancer Res. 1999; 5(2):335-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mRNA expression of the tumor-associated antigens MAGE and GAGE was examined in 60 high-grade brain tumors. This analysis was performed by using reverse transcription-PCR, Southern blotting, and sequencing. It was demonstrated that, of the eight GAGE genes, GAGE-2 and -7 were expressed in five of seven normal brains. Four groups of tumors--adult glioblastoma multiforme (n = 20), pediatric glioblastoma multiforme (n = 9), medulloblastomas (n = 15), and ependymomas (n = 14)--were analyzed for mRNA expression. The following frequencies were observed: MAGE-1, 0, 0, 13, and 0%, respectively; MAGE-2, 5, 11, 60, and 57%; MAGE-3 & -6, 0, 0, 13, and 0%; GAGE-1, 65, 11, 13, and 43%; and GAGE-3-6 and -8: 75, 78, 47, and 93%, respectively. Two unclassified tumors expressed GAGE-3-6 and -8 only. The absence of GAGE-1 expression in normal brain, its relatively high frequency of expression in high-grade brain tumors, and its unique 3' sequence, suggest it may represent a useful target for specific immunotherapy. The detection method of reverse transcription-PCR and Southern blotting may also be useful for rapid screening of biopsy specimens both for diagnostic purposes and to determine a patient's eligibility for specific immunotherapy.

Ofuji S, Ikeda M, Tsujitani S, et al.
Expression of MAGE-1, MAGE-2 and MAGE-3 genes in human gastric carcinomas; lack of evidence for cytotoxic effects in cases with simultaneous expression of MAGE-3 and HLA-A2.
Anticancer Res. 1998 Sep-Oct; 18(5B):3639-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
The human MAGE gene products are recognized by major histocompatibility complex-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes. We analyzed by RT-PCR the expression of MAGE-1, MAGE-2, MAGE-3 and HLA-A2 genes in 10 human gastric cancer cell lines and 46 human stomachs removed due to advanced gastric carcinomas. All the cell lines expressed MAGE genes, except for MKN-45 and -74 which lacked the expression of MAGE-1 and -3 genes in this study. Of the 46 gastric carcinomas, MAGE-1, -2 and -3 genes were expressed in 14 (30%), 10 (22%) and 26 (57%) cases, respectively, regardless of histological type. Normal gastric mucosa and intestinal metaplastic mucosa showed no expression of these genes. HLA-A2 gene expression was noted in 14 both normal and carcinoma cases. Simultaneous expression of MAGE-3 and HLA-A2 genes was noted in 7 cases. Mean apoptotic and Ki-67-labeling indices (AI and KI) of carcinoma cells were 2.3 +/- 0.5 and 48.1 +/- 6.0 in 7 cases, and 2.8 +/- 0.2 and 47.3 +/- 2.7 in the other 39 cases lacking the expression of MAGE-3 and/or HLA-A2 genes, respectively. The two-year survival rate did not differ between the two groups. Although this study confirmed the relatively higher expression of the MAGE gene family in human advanced gastric carcinomas, it might suggest that simultaneous expression of MAGE-3 and HLA-A2 genes does not necessarily imply the induction of cancer cell apoptosis by CTL.

Yamanaka K, Miyake H, Hara I, et al.
Expression of MAGE genes in renal cell carcinoma.
Int J Mol Med. 1998; 2(1):57-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
We investigated the expression of MAGE genes in 10 renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cell lines, 50 RCC tumor samples and 5 normal kidney samples using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). MAGE-1, -2, -3 and -4 genes were expressed in 4, 1, 10 and 3 of 10 RCC cell lines, respectively, and 11, 8, 38 and 15 of 50 RCC samples. In contrast, there was no expression of MAGE genes detected in any of the normal kidneys. The incidence of the expression of plural MAGE genes in high stage RCC was significantly higher than that in low stage RCC. An analysis based on clinicopathological factors revealed that MAGE-4 gene was more frequently expressed in clear cell subtype than in granular cell subtype RCCs. Our results suggest that owing to the high incidence of MAGE gene expression in RCC, a large proportion of patients could be suitable candidates for novel immune therapies involving tumor-specific antigens encoded by MAGE genes.

Gillespie AM, Rodgers S, Wilson AP, et al.
MAGE, BAGE and GAGE: tumour antigen expression in benign and malignant ovarian tissue.
Br J Cancer. 1998; 78(6):816-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To determine if ovarian cancer patients would be suitable for MAGE-peptide vaccine-based immunotherapy, the frequency of expression of the MAGE-1-4 genes in ovarian tumours was assessed using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and product verification with digoxigenin-labelled oligonucleotide probes specific for each MAGE gene. In addition, the frequency of expression of more recently discovered tumour antigens (BAGE, GAGE -1, -2 and GAGE -3, -6) was established using RT-PCR and ethidium bromide staining. In this study 1/16 normal ovarian tissue specimens and 11/25 benign lesions expressed MAGE-1. In non-malignant tissue there was preferential expression of MAGE-1 in premenopausal women. A total of 15/27 malignant specimens expressed MAGE-1, including 10/14 serous cystadenocarcinomas. Expression of other tumour antigens was infrequent. The finding of MAGE-1 expression in both benign and malignant tissue questions previous assumptions regarding the role of MAGE genes in carcinogenesis. In addition, preferential MAGE-1 gene expression in non-malignant premenopausal tissue suggests that the MAGE genes may be involved in cellular proliferation as opposed to carcinogenesis or possibly that MAGE gene expression is under cyclical hormonal control. Finally, this study indicates that serous cystadenocarcinomas may be suitable tumours for MAGE-1 peptide immunotherapy.

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