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1.  Pattern of cancer/testis antigen expression in lung cancer patients 
Cancer/testis (CT) antigens represent promising targets for immunotherapy. We investigated the composite expression of 13 CT antigens by RT-PCR in 79 lung cancer tissues and by immunohistochemistry in 22 lung cancer tissues. In the 79 lung cancer tissues, MAGE-3 (42%) was expressed most frequently and followed by NY-SAR-35 (33%), NY-ESO-1 (30%), MAGE-1 (27%), CT-7 (20%), MAGE-4 (19%), LAGE-1 (16%), and MAGE-10 (14%). Twenty-one tissues did not express any of the CT antigens tested, 58 (73%) expressed at least one, 36 (46%) co-expressed two, 24 (30%) co-expressed three, 17 (22%) co-expressed four, 14 (18%) co-expressed five, 8 (10%) co-expressed six, 4 (6%) co-expressed seven and 2 tissues expressed 9 of the 13 examined CT antigens. Expression of CT antigens was significantly associated with age (P<0.001), smoking history (P=0.009), and gender (P=0.001) of patients, whereas no correlation was found between the expression of CT antigens and other clinical factors, such as pT status, pN status, tumor stage, and histology history. The present results show that CT antigens are potential candidates in lung cancer patients for polyvalent immunotherapy.
doi:10.3892/ijmm.2012.896
PMCID: PMC3573764  PMID: 22294213
lung cancer; cancer/testis antigen; cancer immunotherapy; MAGE-3; NY-SAR-35
2.  Quantitative Expression and Immunogenicity of MAGE-3 and -6 in Upper Aerodigestive Tract Cancer 
The MAGE antigens are frequently expressed cancer vaccine targets. However, quantitative analysis of MAGE expression in upper aero-digestive tract (UADT) tumor cells and its association with T cell recognition has not been performed, hindering the selection of appropriate candidates for MAGE specific immunotherapy. Using quantitative RT-PCR (QRT-PCR), we evaluated the expression of MAGE-3/6 in 65 UADT cancers, 48 normal samples from tumor matched sites and 7 HLA-A*0201+squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) cell lines. Expression results were confirmed using western blot. HLA-A*0201:MAGE-3(271–279) specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (MAGE-CTL) from SCCHN patients and healthy donors showed that MAGE-3/6 expression was highly associated with CTL recognition in vitro. Based on MAGE-3/6 expression we could identify 31 (47%) of the 65 UADT tumors which appeared to express MAGE-3/6 at levels that correlated with efficient CTL recognition. To confirm that the level of MAGE-3 expression was responsible for CTL recognition, two MAGE-3/6 mRNAhigh SCCHN cell lines, PCI-13 and PCI-30, were subjected to MAGE-3/6 specific knockdown. RNAi–transfected cells showed that MAGE expression, and MAGE-CTL recognition, were significantly reduced. Furthermore, treatment of cells expressing low MAGE-3/6 mRNA with a demethylating agent, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC), increased the expression of MAGE-3/6 and CTL recognition. Thus, using QRT-PCR UADT cancers frequently express MAGE-3/6 at levels sufficient for CTL recognition, supporting the use of a QRT-PCR based assay for the selection of candidates likely to respond to MAGE-3/6 immunotherapy. Demethylating agents could increase the number of patients amenable for targeting epigenetically modified tumor antigens in vaccine trials.
doi:10.1002/ijc.24590
PMCID: PMC2757316  PMID: 19610063
MAGE; Head and neck cancer; T cells; QRT-PCR
3.  Selective cancer-germline gene expression in pediatric brain tumors 
Journal of Neuro-Oncology  2008;88(3):273-280.
Cancer-germline genes (CGGs) code for immunogenic antigens that are present in various human tumors and can be targeted by immunotherapy. Their expression has been studied in a wide range of human tumors in adults. We measured the expression of 12 CGGs in pediatric brain tumors, to identify targets for therapeutic cancer vaccines. Real Time PCR was used to quantify the expression of genes MAGE-A1, MAGE-A2, MAGE-A3, MAGE-A4, MAGE-A6, MAGE-A10, MAGE-A12, MAGE-C2, NY-ESO-1 and GAGE-1,2,8 in 50 pediatric brain tumors of different histological subtypes. Protein expression was examined with immunohistochemistry. Fifty-five percent of the medulloblastomas (n = 11), 86% of the ependymomas (n = 7), 40% of the choroid plexus tumors (n = 5) and 67% of astrocytic tumors (n = 27) expressed one or more CGGs. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed qPCR results. With exception of a minority of tumors, the overall level of CGG expression in pediatric brain tumors was low. We observed a high expression of at least one CGG in 32% of the samples. CGG-encoded antigens are therefore suitable targets in a very selected group of pediatric patients with a brain tumor. Interestingly, glioblastomas from adult patients expressed CGGs more often and at significantly higher levels compared to pediatric glioblastomas. This observation is in line with the notion that pediatric and adult glioblastomas develop along different genetic pathways.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11060-008-9577-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11060-008-9577-6
PMCID: PMC2440921  PMID: 18398575
Brain tumor; Pediatrics; qPCR; MAGE; NY-ESO-1; Immune target
4.  The significance of MAGED4 expression in non-small cell lung cancer as analyzed by real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR 
Oncology Letters  2012;4(4):733-738.
The aim of this study was to detect differences in the expression levels of melanoma-associated antigen D4 (MAGED4) mRNA between non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissues and normal tissues, and to compare differences in the expression levels of MAGED4 in tumor patients. Patients were grouped according to age, gender, smoking history, tumor size, pathological classification, degree of lung cancer cell differentiation and presence of lymph node metastasis. The expression levels of MAGED4 were detected using real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR. MAGED4 expression was higher in squamous cell carcinomas compared to adenocarcinomas (P<0.05), in poorly differentiated tissues compared to well-differentiated tissues (P<0.05), and in patients with lymph node metastasis compared to patients without lymph node metastasis (P<0.05). MAGED4 may be used as a specific antigen for NSCLC to influence the improvement of diagnosis, prognosis and immunological therapy outcomes in lung cancer patients.
doi:10.3892/ol.2012.786
PMCID: PMC3506701  PMID: 23205092
MAGED4 gene; non-small cell lung cancer; polymerase chain reaction
5.  Analysis of GAGE, NY-ESO-1 and SP17 cancer/testis antigen expression in early stage non-small cell lung carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:466.
Background
The unique expression pattern and immunogenic properties of cancer/testis antigens make them ideal targets for immunotherapy of cancer. The MAGE-A3 cancer/testis antigen is frequently expressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and vaccination with MAGE-A3 in patients with MAGE-A3-positive NSCLC has shown promising results. However, little is known about the expression of other cancer/testis antigens in NSCLC. In the present study the expression of cancer/testis antigens GAGE, NY-ESO-1 and SP17 was investigated in patients with completely resected, early stage, primary NSCLC.
Methods
Tumor biopsies from normal lung tissue and from a large cohort (n = 169) of NSCLC patients were examined for GAGE, NY-ESO-1 and SP17 protein expression by immunohistochemical analysis. The expression of these antigens was further matched to clinical and pathological features using univariate cox regression analysis.
Results
GAGE and NY-ESO-1 cancer/testis antigens were not expressed in normal lung tissue, while SP17 was expressed in ciliated lung epithelia. The frequency of GAGE, NY-ESO-1 and SP17 expression in NSCLC tumors were 26.0% (44/169), 11.8% (20/169) and 4.7% (8/169), respectively, and 33.1% (56/169) of the tumors expressed at least one of these antigens. In general, the expression of GAGE, NY-ESO-1 and SP17 was not significantly associated with a specific histotype (adenocarcinoma vs. squamous cell carcinoma), but high-level GAGE expression (>50%) was more frequent in squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.02). Furthermore, the frequency of GAGE expression was demonstrated to be significantly higher in stage II-IIIa than stage I NSCLC (17.0% vs. 35.8%; p = 0.02). Analysis of the relation between tumor expression of GAGE and NY-ESO-1 and survival endpoints revealed no significant associations.
Conclusion
Our study demonstrates that GAGE, NY-ESO-1 and SP17 cancer/testis antigens are candidate targets for immunotherapy of NSCLC and further suggest that multi-antigen vaccines may be beneficial.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-466
PMCID: PMC3851761  PMID: 24103781
Cancer/testis antigen; Immunotherapy; GAGE; NY-ESO-1; SP17; Lung cancer
6.  Epigenetic modulation of MAGE-A3 antigen expression in multiple myeloma following treatment with the demethylation agent 5-azacitidine and the histone deacetlyase inhibitor MGCD0103 
Cytotherapy  2010;13(5):618-628.
Background aims
Immunotherapy targeting MAGE-A3 in multiple myeloma (MM) could eradicate highly aggressive and proliferative clonal cell populations responsible for relapse. However, expression of many cancer-testis antigens, including MAGE-A3, can be heterogeneous, leading to the potential for tumor escape despite MAGE-A3-induced immunity. We hypothesized that a combination of the hypomethylating agent 5-azacitidine (5AC) and the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) MGCD0103 (MGC) could induce MAGE-A3 expression in MAGE-A3-negative MM, resulting in recognition and killing of MM cells by MAGE-A3-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL).
Methods
Gene expression analyses of MAGE-A3 expression in primary MM patient samples at diagnosis and relapse were completed to identify populations that would benefit from MAGE-A3 immunotherapy. MM cell lines were treated with 5AC and MGC. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blotting were performed to assess MAGE-A3 RNA and protein levels, respectively. Chromium-release assays and interferon (IFN) secretion assays were employed to ascertain MAGE-A3 CTL specificity against treated targets.
Results
Gene expression analysis revealed that MAGE-A3 is expressed in MM patients at diagnosis (25%) and at relapse (49%). We observed de novo expression of MAGE-A3 RNA and protein in MAGE-A3-negative cell lines treated with 5AC. MGC treatment alone did not induce expression but sequential 5AC/MGC treatment led to enhanced expression and augmented recognition by MAGE-A3-specific CTL, as assessed by 51Cr-release assays (P = 0.047) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IFN-γ secretion (P = 0.004).
Conclusions
MAGE-A3 is an attractive target for immunotherapy of MM and epigenetic modulation by 5AC, and MGC can induce MAGE-A3 expression and facilitate killing by MAGE-A3-specific CTL.
doi:10.3109/14653249.2010.529893
PMCID: PMC3633222  PMID: 21171821
5-azacitidine; cancer-testis antigen; demethylation; epigenetics; histone deactylase inhibitor; hypomethylation; MAGE-A3; MGCD0103; multiple myeloma
7.  Expression of tumor-specific antigen MAGE, GAGE and BAGE in ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:163.
Background
To observe mRNA expression of tumor-specific antigen MAGE, BAGE and GAGE in epithelial ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines, to explore the relationship between gene expression and diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of ovarian cancer, and to evaluate the feasibility of their gene products as markers, and an immunotherapy target for ovarian cancer.
Methods
mRNA expression of MAGE-1, MAGE-3, GAGE-1/2 and BAGE were determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 14 cases of normal ovarian tissue, 20 cases of ovarian benign tumor specimens, 41 cases of ovarian cancer specimens, and ovarian cancer cell lines SKOV3, A2780, and COC1.
Results
MAGE, GAGE and BAGE genes were not expressed in normal ovarian tissue. In benign tumors, only the MAGE gene was expressed; the expression rate of this gene in benign tumors was 15% (3/20). In ovarian cancer tissues, MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 was highly expressed, with expression rates of 53.7% (22/41) and 36.6% (15/41), while GAGE-1/2 and BAGE had relatively low expression, with rates of 26.8% (11/41) and 14.6% (6/41). In metastatic lesions of ovarian cancer, only MAGE-1 and BAGE were expressed, with expression rates of 28.6% (2/7) and 14.3% (1/7). The positive expression rates of MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 in serous cystadenocarcinoma were significantly higher than that in other types of ovarian cancer (P < 0.05). Gene expression rate was not correlated with menopause or lymph node metastasis. Positive expression of MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 was positively correlated with tumor differentiation and the clinical stage of the ovarian cancer. In addition, the positive expression rate of BAGE was significantly higher in ovarian cancer patients with ascites (P < 0.05). The mRNA expression profiles of MAGE, GAGE and BAGE in ovarian carcinoma cell lines SKOV3, A2780 and COC1 varied, but there was at least one gene expressed in each cell line.
Conclusion
Tumor-specific antigen MAGE, BAGE and GAGE may play a role in the occurrence and development of ovarian cancer. These genes can be used as one of the important indicators for early diagnosis, efficacy evaluation and prognostic determination of ovarian cancer.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-163
PMCID: PMC2868811  PMID: 20423514
8.  MAGE A1-A6 RT-PCR and MAGE A3 and p16 methylation analysis in induced sputum from patients with lung cancer and non-malignant lung diseases 
Oncology Reports  2011;27(4):911-916.
The melanoma antigen gene (MAGE) A1-A6 RT-PCR system was developed for the detection of lung cancer cells in the sputum. However, we identified MAGE expression in some patients with non-malignant lung diseases. To understand these patterns of MAGE expression, we performed MAGE A3 methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and p16 MSP. We collected 24 biopsy specimens of lung cancer tissue and performed MAGE A1-A6 RT-PCR, MAGE A3 MSP and p16 MSP. RNA and DNA were simultaneously extracted from induced sputum specimens of 133 patients with lung diseases and 30 random sputum specimens of healthy individuals and the 3 molecular analyses were performed. The patients were diagnosed as 65 cases of lung cancer and 68 of benign lung diseases. Positive rates of MAGE A1-A6 RT-PCR, MAGE A3 MSP and p16 MSP were as follows: in lung cancer tissue, 87.5, 58.3 and 70.8%; in the sputum of lung cancer patients, 50.8, 46.2 and 63.1%; benign lung diseases, 10.3, 30.9 and 39.7%; and healthy individuals, 3.3, 6.7 and 3.3%. Of the 40 MAGE-positive cases, 33 were diagnosed with lung cancer and 7 as having benign lung diseases. From the 7 cases of MAGE-positive benign lung diseases, 6 cases showed methylation abnormalities. The MAGE-positive group revealed significantly higher rates of methylation abnormalities. Of the 40 MAGE-positive cases, 39 cases were found to be lung cancer or benign lung diseases with abnormal methylation. Thus, MAGE expression in the sputum suggests the presence of lung cancer cells or pre-cancerous cells.
doi:10.3892/or.2011.1566
PMCID: PMC3583547  PMID: 22134685
lung cancer; sputum; melanoma antigen gene RT-PCR; melanoma antigen gene A3; p16; methylation
9.  Cancer Testis Antigens in human melanoma stem cells: expression, distribution and methylation status 
Journal of cellular physiology  2008;215(2):287-291.
Neoplastic populations with stem cell potential have been most recently identified in human cutaneous melanoma, and initially characterized for their phenotypic profile. Being melanoma stem cells (MSC) the most desirable target of therapeutic intervention, we asked whether they express the epigenetically-regulated Cancer Testis Antigens (CTA) on which melanoma immunotherapy is increasingly focusing. Reverse transcription-PCR analyses identified the presence of the large majority of investigated CTA (i.e., MAGE, GAGE, NY-ESO and SSX families) in different MSC populations. MSC expressed MAGE-A proteins as detected by western blot; noteworthy, the distribution of MAGE-A proteins was highly homogeneous within given MSC populations as shown by confocal immunofluorescence. Promoter methylation studies unveiled a homogeneously-demethylated MAGE-A3 promoter that paired MAGE-A3 expression in MSC. Altogether these findings demonstrate that MSC can be efficiently targeted by CTA-directed immunotherapeutic approaches, and suggest that epigenetic patterns most likely drive the expression of CTA in MSC as previously shown for melanoma cells.
doi:10.1002/jcp.21380
PMCID: PMC3624762  PMID: 18205182
cancer stem cells; melanoma; immunotherapy; DNA methylation; cancer testis antigens
10.  Targeting MAGE-C1/CT7 Expression Increases Cell Sensitivity to the Proteasome Inhibitor Bortezomib in Multiple Myeloma Cell Lines 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27707.
The MAGE-C1/CT7 encodes a cancer/testis antigen (CTA), is located on the chromosomal region Xq26–27 and is highly polymorphic in humans. MAGE-C1/CT7 is frequently expressed in multiple myeloma (MM) that may be a potential target for immunotherapy in this still incurable disease. MAGEC1/CT7 expression is restricted to malignant plasma cells and it has been suggested that MAGE-C1/CT7 might play a pathogenic role in MM; however, the exact function this protein in the pathophysiology of MM is not yet understood. Our objectives were (1) to clarify the role of MAGE-C1/CT7 in the control of cellular proliferation and cell cycle in myeloma and (2) to evaluate the impact of silencing MAGE-C1/CT7 on myeloma cells treated with bortezomib. Myeloma cell line SKO-007 was transduced for stable expression of shRNA-MAGE-C1/CT7. Downregulation of MAGE-C1/CT7 was confirmed by real time quantitative PCR and western blot. Functional assays included cell proliferation, cell invasion, cell cycle analysis and apoptosis. Western blot showed a 70–80% decrease in MAGE-C1/CT7 protein expression in inhibited cells (shRNA-MAGE-C1/CT7) when compared with controls. Functional assays did not indicate a difference in cell proliferation and DNA synthesis when inhibited cells were compared with controls. However, we found a decreased percentage of cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle among inhibited cells, but not in the controls (p<0.05). When myeloma cells were treated with bortezomib, we observed a 48% reduction of cells in the G2/M phase among inhibited cells while controls showed 13% (empty vector) and 9% (ineffective shRNA) reduction, respectively (p<0.01). Furthermore, inhibited cells treated with bortezomib showed an increased percentage of apoptotic cells (Annexin V+/PI-) in comparison with bortezomib-treated controls (p<0.001). We found that MAGE-C1/CT7 protects SKO-007 cells against bortezomib-induced apoptosis. Therefore, we could speculate that MAGE-C1/CT7 gene therapy could be a strategy for future therapies in MM, in particular in combination with proteasome inhibitors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027707
PMCID: PMC3218015  PMID: 22110734
11.  Expression of MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 Predicts Lymph Node Metastasis in Melanoma Patients 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21418.
MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 are members of the large MAGE family of cancer-testis (CT) antigens. CT antigens are promising targets for immunotherapy in cancer because their expression is restricted to cancer and germ line cells and a proportion of cancer patients presents with immune responses against CT antigens, which clearly demonstrates their immunogenicity. This study investigates the expression of MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 in primary and metastatic melanoma. Immunohistochemical staining of tissue microarrays that consisted of 59 primary malignant melanomas of the skin, 163 lymph node and distant melanoma metastases and 68 melanoma cell lines was performed. We found MAGE-C1/CT7 expression in 15 out of 50 (24%) primary melanomas and 15 out of 50 (24%) cell lines, whereas MAGE-C2/CT10 was detected in 17 out of 51 (33%) primary melanomas and 14 out of 68 (17%) cell lines. MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 were both detected in 40% of melanoma metastases. Patients with MAGE-C1/CT7 or MAGE-C2/CT10 positive primary melanoma had significantly more lymph node metastases (p = 0.005 and p<0.001, resp.). Prediction of lymph node metastasis by MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 was independent of tumor cell proliferation rate (Ki67 labeling index) in a multivariate analysis (p = 0.01). Our results suggest that the expression of MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 in primary melanoma is a potent predictor of sentinel lymph node metastasis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021418
PMCID: PMC3124507  PMID: 21738656
12.  Analysis of expression profiles of MAGE-A antigens in oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines 
Head & Face Medicine  2009;5:10.
Background
The immunological response to solid tumours is insufficient. Therefore, tumour specific antigens have been explored to facilitate the activation of the immune system. The cancer/testis antigen class of MAGE-A antigens is a possible target for vaccination. Their differential expression profiles also modulate the course of the cancer disease and its response to antineoplastic drugs.
Methods
The expression profiles of MAGE-A2, -A3, -A4, -A6 and -A10 in five own oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines were characterised by rt-PCR, qrt-PCR and immunocytochemistry with a global MAGE-A antibody (57B) and compared with those of an adult keratinocyte cell line (NHEK).
Results
All tumour cell lines expressed MAGE-A antigens. The antigens were expressed in groups with different preferences. The predominant antigens expressed were MAGE-A2, -A3 and -A6. MAGE-A10 was not expressed in the cell lines tested. The MAGE-A gene products detected in the adult keratinocyte cell line NHEK were used as a reference.
Conclusion
MAGE-A antigens are expressed in oral squamous cell carcinomas. The expression profiles measured facilitate distinct examinations in forthcoming studies on responses to antineoplastic drugs or radiation therapy. MAGE-A antigens are still an interesting aim for immunotherapy.
doi:10.1186/1746-160X-5-10
PMCID: PMC2690579  PMID: 19358718
13.  MAGE, BAGE and GAGE: tumour antigen expression in benign and malignant ovarian tissue. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;78(6):816-821.
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.
Images
PMCID: PMC2062964  PMID: 9743307
14.  Identification of Two Novel HLA-A*0201-Restricted CTL Epitopes Derived from MAGE-A4 
MAGE-A antigens belong to cancer/testis (CT) antigens that are expressed in tumors but not in normal tissues except testis and placenta. MAGE-A antigens and their epitope peptides have been used in tumor immunotherapy trials. MAGE-A4 antigen is extensively expressed in various histological types of tumors, so it represents an attractive target for tumor immunotherapy. In this study, we predicted HLA-A*0201-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes of MAGE-A4, followed by peptide/HLA-A*0201 affinity and complex stability assays. Of selected four peptides (designated P1, P2, P3, and P4), P1 (MAGE-A4286-294, KVLEHVVRV) and P3 (MAGE-A4272-280, FLWGPRALA) could elicit peptide-specific CTLs both in vitro from HLA-A*0201-positive PBMCs and in HLA-A*0201/Kb transgenic mice. And the induced CTLs could lyse target cells in an HLA-A*0201-restricted fashion, demonstrating that the two peptides are HLA-A*0201-restricted CTL epitopes and could serve as targets for therapeutic antitumoral vaccination.
doi:10.1155/2010/567594
PMCID: PMC3042617  PMID: 21350607
15.  The expression and clinical significance of melanoma-associated antigen-A1, -A3 and -A11 in glioma 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(1):55-62.
Melanoma-associated antigens (MAGEs) were initially identified in melanoma and have since been widely studied. Melanoma-associated antigen-As (MAGE-As), a subfamily of MAGEs, are expressed in germ cells and various types of cancer, and are considered to be ideal targets for cancer immunotherapy. Glial cells and melanocytes originate from the neural ectoderm, so tumors derived from these two types of cells, i.e. gliomas and melanomas, may have common biological characteristics. However, studies on the expression of the MAGE-A family in gliomas are limited and conflicting. In the present study, the expression levels of MAGE-A1, -A3 and -A11 were detected by immunohistochemistry, and the association of their expression levels with the clinicopathological parameters, overall survival (OS) and ki-67 labeling indices of glioma patients were analyzed. The results showed that i) the expression levels of MAGE-A1, -A3 and -A11 proteins in the glioma tissues were 64.1, 51.3 and 57.7%, respectively and that no MAGE-A1, -A3 or -A11 expression was detected in the normal brain specimens; ii) the expression levels of MAGE-A1 and -A11 increased with ascending pathological grades and were positively correlated with the ki-67 labeling index; and iii) the OS of the patients in the groups with high MAGE-A1 (P=0.005) and -A11 (P=0.019) expression was statistically lower compared with the groups with low expression and no significant differences in OS were detected between the patients in the groups with high and low MAGE-A3 expression (P=0.304). Based on these results, we conclude that MAGE-A1, -A3 and -A11 may be used as ideal targets for glioma immunotherapy, and that MAGE-A1 and -A11 expression may be involved in tumor cell proliferation. These proteins may be potential indicators of a poor prognosis in glioma patients.
doi:10.3892/ol.2013.1351
PMCID: PMC3742726  PMID: 23946777
melanoma-associated antigen-A1; melanoma-associated antigen-A3; melanoma-associated antigen-A11; glioma; prognosis
16.  MAGE-A inhibits apoptosis in proliferating myeloma cells through repression of Bax and maintenance of survivin 
Purpose
The type I Melanoma Antigen GEnes (MAGEs) are commonly expressed in cancers, fueling speculation that they may be therapeutic targets with oncogenic potential. They form complexes with RING domain proteins that have E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and promote p53 degradation. MAGE-A3 was detected in tumor specimens from patients with multiple myeloma and its expression correlated with higher frequencies of Ki-67+ malignant cells. In this report, we examine the mechanistic role of MAGE-A in promoting survival of proliferating multiple myeloma cells.
Experimental Design
The impact of MAGE-A3 expression on survival and proliferation in vivo was examined by immunohistochemical analysis in an independent set of tumor specimens segregated into two groups; newly diagnosed, untreated patients and patients who had relapsed after chemotherapy. The mechanisms of MAGE-A3 activity were investigated in vitro by silencing its expression by shRNA interference in myeloma cell lines and primary cells and assessing the resultant effects on proliferation and apoptosis.
Results
MAGE-A3 was detected in a significantly higher percentage of relapsed patients compared to newly diagnosed, establishing a novel correlation with progression of disease. Silencing of MAGE-A demonstrated that it was dispensable for cell cycling, but was required for survival of proliferating myeloma cells. Loss of MAGE-A led to apoptosis mediated by p53-dependent activation of pro-apoptotic Bax expression and by reduction of survivin expression through both p53-dependent and independent mechanisms.
Conclusions
These data support a role for MAGE-A in the pathogenesis and progression of multiple myeloma by inhibiting apoptosis in proliferating myeloma cells through two novel mechanisms.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-1820
PMCID: PMC3131419  PMID: 21565982
MAGE; Cancer-Testis Antigen; multiple myeloma; apoptosis; survivin
17.  Detection of Lung Cancer using MAGE A1-6 and SSX4 RT-PCR Expression Profiles in the Bronchial Wash Fluid 
Purpose
Bronchial wash fluid may be a useful for detecting lung cancer. To increase the detection rates, we performed molecular analysis with using MAGE A1-6 and SSX4 RT-PCR on bronchial wash fluid specimens.
Materials and Methods
We obtained 57 lung cancer tissue specimens by bronchoscopic biopsy and 131 bronchial washes from 96 patients with lung cancer and 35 patients with benign lung diseases. The MAGE A1-6 and SSX4 gene expressions were investigated in the cancer tissue specimens and bronchial wash fluids. We evaluated the positive detection rates of these methods according to the cytology results and the clinical findings.
Results
For the cancer tissue specimens and the bronchial wash fluid, the positive detection rate of MAGE or SSX4 was 91.2% and 75.0%, respectively. Combined MAGE and SSX4 PCR and cytology tests showed an 83.3% detection rate for the bronchial wash fluid. From bronchial washes of patients with benign lung diseases, the positive rates of using MAGE or SSX4 was 11.4%. In the bronchial wash fluid of lung cancer patients, 66.7% of the peripheral cancers were detected by MAGE or SSX4, while examination with cytology did not detect any peripheral lung cancer.
Conclusion
The application of both MAGE and SSX4 showed high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of lung cancer. Thus, MAGE and SSX4 RT-PCR may be effectively utilized as additional methods to improve detection of lung cancer with using bronchial wash fluids.
doi:10.4143/crt.2007.39.2.69
PMCID: PMC2739316  PMID: 19746211
MAGE; SSX; Cytology; Bronchial wash
18.  Inhibition of Histone Lysine Methylation Enhances Expression of Cancer-Testis Genes in Lung Cancer Cells: Implications for Adoptive Immunotherapy of Cancer 
Cancer research  2011;71(12):4192-4204.
Cancer-testis antigens such as NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 are immunogenic proteins encoded by genes, which are normally expressed only in male germ cells, but activated by ill-defined epigenetic mechanisms in human tumors including lung cancers. Previously we reported induction of these cancer-testis antigens in cancer cells, but not normal cells, by DNA demethylating agents and histone deacetylase inhibitors using clinically achievable exposure conditions. In the present study, we evaluated chromatin alterations associated with repression/activation of cancer-testis genes in lung cancer cells to further develop gene induction regimens for cancer immunotherapy. Repression of NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A1, and MAGE-A3 coincided with DNA hypermethylation, recruitment and binding of polycomb group proteins, and histone heterochromatin modifications within the promoters of these genes. De-repression coincided with DNA demethylation, dissociation of polycomb proteins, and presence of euchromatin marks within the respective promoters. ShRNAs were used to inhibit several histone methyl transferases (KMTs) and histone demethylases (KDMs) that mediate histone methylation and repress gene expression. Knockdown of KMT6, KDM1 or KDM5B markedly enhanced deoxyazacytidine (DAC)-mediated activation of these cancer-testis genes in lung cancer cells. DZNep, a pharmacologic inhibitor of KMT6 expression, recapitulated the effects of KMT6 knock-down. Following DAC-DZNep exposure, lung cancer cells were specifically recognized and lysed by allogeneic lymphocytes expressing recombinant T cell receptors recognizing NY-ESO-1 and MAGE-A3. Combining DNA demethylating agents with compounds such as DZNep that modulate histone lysine methylation may provide a novel epigenetic strategy to augment cancer-testis gene expression as an adjunct to adoptive cancer immunotherapy.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2442
PMCID: PMC3116976  PMID: 21546573
lung cancer; epigenetics; cancer-testis gene; KMT6; KDM1; KDM5B; SirT1; DZNep; immunotherapy
19.  Expression and prognostic significance of cancer-testis antigens (CTA) in intrahepatic cholagiocarcinoma 
Background
Cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) are suitable targets for cancer-specific immunotherapy. The aim of the study is to investigate the expression of CTAs in intrahepatic cholagiocarcinoma (IHCC) and evaluate their potential therapeutic values.
Methods
Eighty-nine IHCC patients were retrospectively assessed for their expression of CTAs and HLA Class I by immunohistochemistry using the following antibodies: MA454 recognizing MAGE-A1, 57B recognizing multiple MAGE-A (MAGE-A3/A4), E978 recognizing NY-ESO-1, and EMR8-5 recognizing HLA class I. The clinicopathological and prognostic significance of individual CTA markers and their combination were further evaluated.
Results
The expression rates of MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3/4 and NY-ESO-1 were 29.2%, 27.0% and 22.5%, respectively. The concomitant expression of CTAs and HLA class I antigen was observed in 33.7% of the IHCC tumors. We found that positive MAGE-3/4 expression correlated with larger tumor size (≥ 5 cm), tumor recurrence and poor prognosis. Moreover, we identified 52 cases (58.4%) of IHCC patients with at least one CTA marker expression, and this subgroup displayed a higher frequency of larger tumor size and a shorter survival than the other cases. Furthermore, expression of at least one CTA marker was also an independent prognostic factor in patients with IHCC.
Conclusion
Our data suggest that specific immunotherapy targeted CTAs might be a novel treatment option for IHCC patients.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-30-2
PMCID: PMC3023685  PMID: 21211023
20.  Expression of MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, LAGE-1 and PRAME in urothelial carcinoma 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;107(1):116-122.
Background:
The potential for cancer-testis (CT) antigens as targets for immunotherapy in cancer patients has been heavily investigated, and currently cancer vaccine trials based on the CT antigens, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1, are being carried out.
Methods:
We used specific q-RT-PCR assays to analyse the expression of the CT genes MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1 (CTAG1B), LAGE-1 (CTAG2) and PRAME in a panel of bladder tumours from 350 patients with long-term follow-up and detailed treatment information.
Results:
Overall, 43% of the tumours expressed MAGE-A3, 35% expressed NY-ESO-1, 27% expressed LAGE-1 and 20% expressed PRAME. In all, 56% of the tumours expressed at least one of the CT genes analysed. Univariate Cox regression analysis of CT gene expression in non-muscle-invasive tumours showed that expression of MAGE-A3 (P=0.026), LAGE-1 (P=0.001) and NY-ESO-1 (P=0.040) was significantly associated with a shorter progression-free survival. In addition, we found that patients with tumours expressing PRAME responded poorly to chemotherapy (P=0.02, χ2-test).
Conclusion:
Cancer-testis genes are frequently expressed in bladder cancer and especially in tumours of high stage and grade. In addition, the CT gene expression may have both prognostic and predictive value. Development of specific immunotherapy against the CT antigens in bladder cancer may ultimately increase patient survival.
doi:10.1038/bjc.2012.215
PMCID: PMC3389414  PMID: 22596240
bladder cancer; CT genes; immunotherapy; PCR; prognosis
21.  Prognostic relevance of melanoma antigen D1 expression in colorectal carcinoma 
Background
Melanoma antigen D1 (MAGED1) is a member of the type II melanoma antigen (MAGE) family. The down-regulation of MAGED1 expression has been shown in breast carcinoma cell lines and in glioma stem cells and may play an important role in apoptosis and anti-tumorigenesis. However, there is no report on its clinical role in colorectal cancer (CRC).
Methods
We examined the expression of MAGED1 by qPCR in colorectal cancer tissues and their adjacent non-tumorous tissues taken from 6 cases and performed Western blotting and IHC analyses. In addition, we analyzed MAGED1 expression in 285 clinicopathologically characterized colorectal cancer patients.
Results
MAGED1 expression was significantly down-regulated in colorectal cancer tissues compared with adjacent non-tumorous tissues and was associated with clinical stage (p < 0.001), T classification (p = 0.001), N classification (p < 0.001), M classification (p < 0.001) and pathologic differentiation (p = 0.002). Patients with lower MAGED1 expression had a shorter survival time than those with higher MAGED1 expression. Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that MAGED1 expression was an independent prognostic factors (p < 0.001).
Conclusions
MAGED1 may serve as a novel prognostic biomarker of human colorectal cancer.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-181
PMCID: PMC3494540  PMID: 22935435
MAGED1; Colorectal cancer; Melanoma antigen and prognosis
22.  Limited expression of cancer-testis antigens in renal cell carcinoma patients 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2012;1(2):326-330.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of expression of the cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A4 and SAGE, in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients compared to that in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients, which represent a positive control with a high incidence of CTA expression, to identify novel target antigens for immunotherapy. We prospectively examined frozen tissue samples collected from surgery or biopsy from 35 RCC and 40 HNC patients. Total RNA was extracted, and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT)-PCR was performed to determine the expression of MAGE-A4, NY-ESO-1 and SAGE. MAGE-A4 was not detected in any of the RCC samples, although a low incidence of NY-ESO-1 (5.7%; 2/35) and SAGE (2.9%; 1/35) expression was observed. No samples demonstrated co-expression of the three CTAs. By contrast, a comparatively high incidence of CTA expression was detected in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) specimens of HNC patients. The actual incidence was 42.5% (17/40) for MAGE-A4, 20% (8/40) for NY-ESO-1 and 15% (6/40) for SAGE. The incidence of co-expression was 7.5% (3/40) for MAGE-A4 and NY-ESO-1, 7.5% (3/40) for MAGE-A4 and SAGE, 7.5% (3/40) for NY-ESO-1 and SAGE, and 2.5% (1/40) for the CTAs. The number of HNC samples positive for MAGE-A4 was significantly higher compared to that of RCC samples. The remaining two antigens, NY-ESO-1 and SAGE, were expressed at high levels in HNC compared to RCC samples. Limited frequency of CTA (NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A4 and SAGE) expression was demonstrated in RCC compared to HNC samples.
doi:10.3892/mco.2012.40
PMCID: PMC3956270  PMID: 24649170
cancer-testis antigen; kidney cancer
23.  MAGE-A as a novel approach in the diagnostic accuracy of oral squamous cell cancer: a case report 
Head & Neck Oncology  2009;1:39.
Background
The aim of this case report is to introduce the combined use of brush biopsy and measurement of MAGE-A expression in the diagnosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
Case report
We report of a 49-year old male patient who was referred to our department with a persistent-suspicious looking leukoplakia. Brush biopsy and an incisional biopsy were performed following clinical diagnosis. Histopathological examination revealed no malignancy. Expression analysis of melanoma-associated antigens A (MAGE-A) using real time RT-PCR was applied to brush biopsy materials because of the high prevalence of MAGE-A determined previously in OSCC's. Results indicated significant MAGE-A3 and A4 expression pattern. Therefore, the lesion was excised completely and an early invasive carcinoma was identified.
Conclusion
These results emphasize the role of brush biopsy using a tumor marker with a high expression frequency combined with a high sensitive and high specific detection system in the early diagnosis of OSCC, particularly in widespread leukoplakias.
doi:10.1186/1758-3284-1-39
PMCID: PMC2803165  PMID: 20015401
24.  Monoclonal antibody MA454 reveals a heterogeneous expression pattern of MAGE-1 antigen in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded lung tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2000;83(4):493-497.
Cancer/testis (CT) antigens such as those encoded by the MAGE-gene family are expressed in a wide variety of malignant neoplasms. In normal tissues, expression is generally restricted to testis. Current knowledge of the expression pattern of CT antigens is mainly based on mRNA analysis. Little is known about actual protein expression. We previously developed MA454, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) to MAGE-1 recombinant protein. By employing antigen retrieval techniques, we show that MA454 is reactive on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of a normal tissue panel revealed staining solely in germ cells of testes. A series of 59 lung tumours was co-typed for MAGE-1 expression by RT–PCR and by immunohistochemistry with MA454. MA454 was positive in 19/59 cases (32%). MAGE-1 mRNA was found in 17 of the 54 cases (32%) available for RT–PCR. Of the 19 MA454-reactive tumours, 15 showed a highly heterogeneous pattern of expression. The other 4 MA454 positive cases revealed immunoreactivity in >25% of tumour areas. Of the 53 cases typed for both, mRNA and protein expression, 48 co-typed whereas 5 cases were discrepant, a likely consequence of heterogeneous MAGE-1 expression. The predominantly focal expression of MAGE-1 suggests that this antigen might not be sufficient as a sole target for immunotherapeutic approaches. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
doi:10.1054/bjoc.2000.1291
PMCID: PMC2374655  PMID: 10945497
MAGE-1 antigen; monoclonal antibody MA454
25.  MAGE-A1 interacts with adaptor SKIP and the deacetylase HDAC1 to repress transcription 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(14):4340-4350.
MAGE-A1 belongs to a family of 12 genes that are active in various types of tumors and silent in normal tissues except in male germ-line cells. The MAGE-encoded antigens recognized by T cells are highly tumor-specific targets for T cell-oriented cancer immunotherapy. The function of MAGE-A1 is currently unknown. To analyze it, we attempted to identify protein partners of MAGE-A1. Using yeast two-hybrid screening, we detected an interaction between MAGE-A1 and Ski Interacting Protein (SKIP). SKIP is a transcriptional regulator that connects DNA-binding proteins to proteins that either activate or repress transcription. We show that MAGE-A1 inhibits the activity of a SKIP-interacting transactivator, namely the intracellular part of Notch1. Deletion analysis indicated that this inhibition requires the binding of MAGE-A1 to SKIP. Moreover, MAGE-A1 was found to actively repress transcription by binding and recruiting histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1). Our results indicate that by binding to SKIP and by recruiting HDACs, MAGE-A1 can act as a potent transcriptional repressor. MAGE-A1 could therefore participate in the setting of specific gene expression patterns for tumor cell growth or spermatogenesis.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkh735
PMCID: PMC514365  PMID: 15316101

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