Gene Summary

Gene:MAGEA4; MAGE family member A4
Aliases: CT1.4, MAGE4, MAGE4A, MAGE4B, MAGE-41, MAGE-X2
Summary:This gene is a member of the MAGEA gene family. The members of this family encode proteins with 50 to 80% sequence identity to each other. The promoters and first exons of the MAGEA genes show considerable variability, suggesting that the existence of this gene family enables the same function to be expressed under different transcriptional controls. The MAGEA genes are clustered at chromosomal location Xq28. They have been implicated in some hereditary disorders, such as dyskeratosis congenita. At least four variants encoding the same protein have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:melanoma-associated antigen 4
Source:NCBIAccessed: 29 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 29 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Latest Publications: MAGEA4 (cancer-related)

Chen X, Cai S, Wang L, et al.
Analysis of the function of MAGE-A in esophageal carcinoma by bioinformatics.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019; 98(21):e15774 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Melanoma-associated antigen-A (MAGE-A) was recognized as high-expressed in many solid tumors including esophageal carcinoma (EC), nevertheless, was reported to be low/not-expressed in normal tissues. Thus, it was considered as an extraordinary appropriate target for treatment especially in immunotherapy. Therefore, it demanded more detail knowledge on the precise function of MAGE-A.
METHODS: In this study, we used the data from the Cancer Genome Atlas dataset (TCGA-ESCA) to analyze the expression and survival for MAGE A3/4/11 (the subtype of MAGE-A) using the online tool of UALCAN. Furthermore, the high-throughput sequencing data of the patients with esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC) from TCGA dataset were performed to analyze the correlation test, gene ontology (GO), and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment of MAGE A3/4/9/11 using LinkeDomics (online tool) and ClueGO (inner software of Cytoscape). Finally, relative gene expressions of MAGE A3/4/9/11 were verified by quantitative real-time PCR (q-PCR) in the patients with EC.
RESULTS: MAGE A3/4/11 was high-expressed in tissues of patients with ESCC, and there was no difference in survival time for patients between the high-expressed with the low/medium-expressed. The Go enrichment analysis showed that the 4 MAGE-A subtypes (MAGE-A3/4/9/11) were enriched in the regulation of the adaptive immune response, translational initiation, interleukin-4 production, response to type I interferon, and skin development, respectively. The KEGG results showed that they were enriched in T cell receptor signaling pathway (MAGE-A3), Th1 and Th2 differentiation, antigen processing and presentation (MAGE-A4), cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction (MAGE-A9), and chemokine signaling pathway (MAGE-A11).
CONCLUSION: MAGE A3/4/9/11 was high-expressed in EC, and were enrolled in the regulation of immune response. They may consider as candidate immune target for EC treatment and provided the messages for further research in the function of MAGE-A.

Sani SA, Forghanifard MM, Sharifi N, et al.
Investigation of melanoma-associated antigen A4 cancer/testis antigen clinical relevance in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2018 Jul-Sep; 14(5):1059-1064 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is considered as the seventh most common cancer worldwide, and the second prevalent malignancy in the north of Iran. A subfamily group of tumor-specific antigens, commonly specified as cancer/testis antigens (CTAs), are expressed restrictedly in testis, ovary, and placenta. Melanoma-associated antigen A4 (MAGEA4) as a CTA is overexpressed in a variety of cancers. Expressional analysis of MAGEA4 protein in ESCC may be useful to investigate its clinical relevance leading to effective improvements in ESCC diagnosis and treatment.
Materials and Methods: Fifty-six ESCC patients with no preoperative therapeutic circumstance such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy were analyzed to explore the protein expression level of MAGEA4 using immunohistochemistry assay.
Results: MAGEA4 overexpression was detected in 66% of ESCC samples showing strong nuclear and cytoplasmic staining compared to the normal epithelium. There were significant correlations between MAGEA4 protein expression and depth of tumor invasion (P = 0.019), and the number of involved lymph nodes (P = 0.045).
Conclusion: Because of the significant correlation of MAGEA4 and indices of poor prognosis, the role of this CTA may be confirmed in ESCC aggressiveness and metastasis. Therefore, MAGEA4 may be a promising therapeutic candidate for suppressing ESCC aggressiveness.

Vodolazhsky DI, Kutilin DS, Mogushkova KA, Kit OI
Specific Features of Transcription Activity of Cancer-Testis Antigens in Patients with Metastatic and Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer.
Bull Exp Biol Med. 2018; 165(3):382-385 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer-testis antigens, effective markers of tissue malignant transformation, are characterized by heterogonous transcription depending on the pathological features of breast cancer. We performed screening of transcription profile of cancer-testis antigens specific for breast tumor tissues in female patients with and without regional metastasis. The relative expression of 16 genes (MAGEA1, MAGEA2, MAGEA3, MAGEA4, MAGEB1, MAGEB2, GAGE1, GAGE3, GAGE4, MAGEC1, BAGE, XAGE3, NY-ESO1, SSX2, SYCP1, and PRAME1) was analyzed by RT-qPCR method in biopsy specimens of the mammary gland tissues obtained during surgery from 25 patients. Differential transcription activity of cancer-testis antigens genes was observed in patients with metastatic (enhanced expression of MAGEA2, MAGEB1, and XAGE3 genes) and non-metastatic (enhanced expression of GAGE3 and PRAME1 genes) breast cancer.

Fujiwara-Kuroda A, Kato T, Abiko T, et al.
Prognostic value of MAGEA4 in primary lung cancer depends on subcellular localization and p53 status.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(2):713-724 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma antigen family A4 (MAGEA4), a cancer/testis antigen, is overexpressed and is thus an immunotherapy target in various malignant tumors, including non-small cell lung cancer. However, whether MAGEA4 induces or inhibits the apoptosis of lung cancer cells remains controversial, as is its prognostic significance, particularly since there is no reliable method with which to detect MAGEA4 specifically. In this study, we optimized assay conditions to detect MAGEA4 based on cells transiently transfected with MAGEA genes, and found that MAGEA4 was expressed in four of eight non-small cell lung cancer cell lines, and in 25.4% of clinical lung cancer specimens. We also found that MAGEA4 overexpression decreased apoptosis, as measured by the levels of cleaved caspase-3 in stably transfected 293F cells. Notably, patients with nuclear MAGEA4, but not p53 expression exhibited a significantly poorer survival than those expressing both nuclear MAGEA4 and p53. Indeed, multivariate analysis identified nuclear MAGEA4 as an independent prognostic factor (P=0.0042), albeit only in the absence of p53. In this study, to the best of our knowledge, we are the first to demonstrate that the function and prognostic value of MAGEA4 depends on its subcellular localization and on the p53 status.

Gu L, Sang M, Yin D, et al.
MAGE-A gene expression in peripheral blood serves as a poor prognostic marker for patients with lung cancer.
Thorac Cancer. 2018; 9(4):431-438 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MAGE-A genes belong to the cancer/testis antigens family. The prognostic significance of MAGE-A expression in the peripheral blood of patients with lung cancer is unknown. Therefore, this study evaluated the expression and possible prognostic significance of MAGE-A in the peripheral blood of patients with lung cancer.
METHODS: In this study, we detected MAGE-A gene expression in the peripheral blood of 150 patients with lung cancer and 30 healthy donors using multiplex semi-nested PCR and analyzed their correlation with clinicopathological risk factors.
RESULTS: MAGE-A expression was associated with factors indicating poor prognosis. The expression of MAGE-A and each individual MAGE-A gene were also associated with low overall survival in patients with lung cancer.
CONCLUSION: The expression of MAGE-A genes in peripheral blood may act as a poor prognostic marker in patients with lung cancer.

Cao Z, Zheng X, Cao L, Liang N
MicroRNA-539 Inhibits the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition of Esophageal Cancer Cells by Twist-Related Protein 1-Mediated Modulation of Melanoma-Associated Antigen A4.
Oncol Res. 2018; 26(4):529-536 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRs) play key roles in cancers, yet the potential molecular mechanisms of miR-539 on esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) are not well understood. Utilizing informatics screening, Twist-related protein 1 (TWIST1) was hypothesized to be a possible target gene of miR-539. Since the melanoma-associated antigen (MAGE) A4 is reported to be upregulated by TWIST1, this study aimed to examine the biological functions and mechanism involving TWIST1 and MAGE4 of miR-539 in ESCC. miR-539 mimics or scrambled miRs were transfected into human ESCC TE3 cells to interfere with the expression of miR-539. Then qRT-PCR and Western blot analyses were performed to determine the expression levels of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related factors at mRNA and protein levels. The association between miR-539 and TWIST1 as well as TWIST1 and MAGEA4 was evaluated. The connection of miR-539 and TWIST1-MAGEA4 during the EMT progress of ESCC was also explored. Our data demonstrated that miR-539 inhibited the EMT of TE3 cells by downregulating TWIST1, and TWIST1 was a target of miR-539. Moreover, MAGEA4 was positively correlated with TWIST1, and its knockdown inhibited EMT in TE3 cells. Collectively, miR-539 could inhibit EMT in TE3 cells through TWIST1-mediated regulation of MAGEA4. All these findings suggested that miR-539 may be involved in the progression of ESCC and could be a new therapeutic target for this disease.

Laban S, Giebel G, Klümper N, et al.
MAGE expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma primary tumors, lymph node metastases and respective recurrences-implications for immunotherapy.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(9):14719-14735 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Melanoma associated antigens (MAGE) are potential targets for immunotherapy and have been associated with poor overall survival (OS) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, little is known about MAGE in lymph node metastases (LNM) and recurrent disease (RD) of HNSCC.To assess whether MAGE expression increases with metastasis or recurrence, a tissue microarray (TMA) of 552 primary tumors (PT), 219 LNM and 75 RD was evaluated by immunohistochemistry for MAGE antigens using three monoclonal antibodies to multiple MAGE family members. Mean expression intensity (MEI) was obtained from triplicates of each tumor specimen.The median MEI compared between PT, LNM and RD was significantly higher in LNM and RD. In paired samples, MEI was comparable in PT to respective LNM, but significantly different from RD. Up to 25% of patients were negative for pan-MAGE or MAGE-A3/A4 in PT, but positive in RD. The prognostic impact of MAGE expression was validated in the TMA cohort and also in TCGA data (mRNA). OS was significantly lower for patients expressing pan-MAGE or MAGE-A3/A4 in both independent cohorts.MAGE expression was confirmed as a prognostic marker in HNSCC and may be important for immunotherapeutic strategies as a shared antigen.

Iura K, Maekawa A, Kohashi K, et al.
Cancer-testis antigen expression in synovial sarcoma: NY-ESO-1, PRAME, MAGEA4, and MAGEA1.
Hum Pathol. 2017; 61:130-139 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) is regarded as a relatively chemosensitive sarcoma, but the prognosis of advanced SSs remains poor. Here we identified highly expressed cancer-testis antigens that could be promising immunotherapy targets for SS, using a previously conducted cDNA microarray, and we assessed the clinicopathological or prognostic relationships of these antigens in SS. We compared the gene expression profiles of 11 SSs with those of 3 normal adipose tissues. Among the up-regulated cancer-testis antigens, we analyzed PRAME, MAGEA1, and MAGEA4 and another cancer-testis antigen (NY-ESO-1) together, by immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction in 108 SSs. Immunohistochemically, NY-ESO-1, PRAME, MAGEA4, and MAGEA1 were positive in 66 (61%), 93 (86%), 89 (82%), and 16 (15%) of 108 SSs, respectively, and 104 (96%) of 108 SSs showed the immunohistochemical expression of at least 1 of NY-ESO-1, PRAME, and MAGEA4. Moreover, the high expression of at least 1 of these 3 antigens was observed in 83% of the SSs. High expression of NY-ESO-1 and MAGEA4 was significantly correlated with the presence of necrosis and advanced clinical stage. The immunohistochemical expression of these cancer-testis antigens was not correlated with prognosis, but the coexpression of NY-ESO-1, PRAME, and MAGEA4 was significantly associated with adverse prognosis. The real-time polymerase chain reaction results were closely related to the immunohistochemical results: NY-ESO-1 (P = .0019), PRAME (P = .039), MAGEA4 (P = .0149), and MAGEA1 (P = .0766). These data support the potential utility of NY-ESO-1, PRAME, and MAGEA4 as immunotherapy targets and ancillary prognostic parameters, suggesting the possible benefit of the combined use of these cancer-testis antigens as an SS immunotherapy target.

Chen X, Wang L, Yue D, et al.
Correlation between the high expression levels of cancer-germline genes with clinical characteristics in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Histol Histopathol. 2017; 32(8):793-803 [PubMed] Related Publications
Antigens encoded by cancer-germline genes are attractive targets for cancer immunotherapy. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the mRNA expression of cancer-germline genes, expression of the encoded proteins in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and their correlations with clinical characteristics. In addition, the effects of downregulation cancer-germline genes on ESCC cells were assessed in vitro. Our results showed that cancer-germline genes were frequently expressed in ESCC samples. The positive rates of in ESCC samples were: 87% of MAGE-A3, 60% of MAGE-A4, 65% of MAGE-C2, and 20% of NY-ESO-1 at mRNA level. MAGE-A3 expression was associated with age, lymph node metastasis and tumor stage (all P<0.05), while MAGE-C2 expression was only associated with tumor stage (P<0.05). Furthermore, the MAGE-A3 expressing patients had a poorer overall survival (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis identified MAGE-A3 as an independent poor prognostic marker in ESCC. In vitro assay, ESCC cell lines treated with specific siRNAs to down-regulate MAGE-A3 and MAGE-C2 resulted in decreased colony-formation and migration ability (P<0.05). Epithelial marker E-cadherin was up-regulated in siRNA-MAGE-A3/C2 cells compared to controls, whereas mesenchymal markers Vimentin, N-cadherin and Slug were downregulated (all P<0.05), suggesting a role for MAGE-A3/C2 in ESCC metastasis through inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition. The present study revealed that cancer-germline genes and their encoded proteins were frequently expressed in ESCC tumor samples and were related to poor prognosis. Thus, cancer-germline genes may serve as useful biomarkers and potential targets for ESCC patients.

Forghanifard MM, Rad A, Farshchian M, et al.
TWIST1 upregulates the MAGEA4 oncogene.
Mol Carcinog. 2017; 56(3):877-885 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of MAGEA4 oncogene has been demonstrated in different malignancies; however, little is known about its exact mechanism for overexpression. TWIST1, as a bHLH transcription factor, activates a cell migration-invasion program involved in both embryonic and tumor development. Since MAGEA4 overexpression was statistically correlated to TWIST1, we aimed to elucidate the probable regulatory role of TWIST1 on MAGEA4 expression in KYSE30 cells.
METHODS: Expression pattern of MAGEA4 and TWIST1 was analyzed in 55 ESCC patients using relative comparative real-time PCR. In silico analysis of the MAGEA4 gene was performed. Methylation status of MAGEA4 promoter was determined by quantitative methylation specific PCR (qMSP). Using a retroviral system, KYSE30 cells were transduced to ectopically express TWIST1, followed by qRT-PCR, Western blot analysis, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and luciferase assays to elucidate the regulatory role of TWIST1 on MAGEA4 gene expression.
RESULTS: Concomitant overexpression of MAGEA4 and TWIST1 was detected in ESCC in significant correlation with each other in different clinicopathological indices of poor prognosis (P < 0.05). The TWIST1-expressing cells showed significantly higher MAGEA4 expression compared to control cells. ChIP and luciferase assays results confirmed indirect binding of TWIST1 to the E-boxes of MAGEA4 promoter sequence and revealed a novel regulatory role of TWIST1 in MAGEA4 upregulation.
CONCLUSION: Since MAGEA4 is a highly expressed oncogene in a variety of malignancies in significant correlation with tumor cell invasiveness and aggressiveness, our finding may help understand one regulatory mechanism of increased expression in tumor cells. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Miyauchi K, Tsuchikawa T, Wada M, et al.
Clinical relevance of antigen spreading pattern induced by CHP-MAGE-A4 cancer vaccination.
Immunotherapy. 2016; 8(5):527-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the antigen spreading pattern in the CHP-MAGE-A4-vaccinated patients and analyze the clinical relevance of antigen spreading pattern as a surrogate marker of patient survival.
MATERIALS & METHODS: 12 patients who had been injected with 300 μg of CHP-MAGE-A4 and 0.5 Klinische Einheit of OK-432 in more than five vaccinations were analyzed.
RESULTS: Increases in the anti-MAGE-A4-specific antibody response were observed in eight patients (66.7%), compared with six patients (50%) for anti-NY-ESO-1 and five patients (41.7%) for anti-MAGE-A3 after five vaccinations. We identified frequent antigen spreading following MAGE-A4 vaccinations without associations with the clinical response or patient prognosis.
CONCLUSION: Antigen spreading pattern might reflect tumor shrinkage as a response to treatment and treatment history (clinical trial registration number: UMIN000001999).

Su C, Xu Y, Li X, et al.
Predictive and prognostic effect of CD133 and cancer-testis antigens in stage Ib-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(5):5509-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CD133 and cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) may be potential predicted markers of adjuvant chemotherapy or immune therapy, and they may be the independent prognostic factor of NSCLC. Nowadays, there is still no predictive biomarker identified for the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. To clarify the role of CD133 and CTAs as a predictive marker for adjuvant chemotherapy or prognostic factors of overall survival, we performed a retrospective study in 159 stage Ib-IIIA NSCLC patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy or observe from April 2003 to March 2004 in our institute. Clinical data and gene anaylisis results were collected, while CD133 and three CTAs (MAGE-A4, NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A10) were determined according to their monoclonal antibodies such as CD133, 57B, D8.38 and 3GA11 by immunohistochemistry. All CTAs were more frequently expressed in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (50.0%, 26.9%, 34.6%) than in adenocarcinoma (16.2%, 16.2%, 16.2%). CD133 was more frequently found in patients with adenocarcinoma (P=0.044). Negative expression of CD133 was associated with a significantly longer overall survival compared to positive expression of CD133 (62.5 vs. 48.5 months, P=0.035). When combined with MAGEA4, NY-ESO-1or MAGE-A10, patients' OS showed significantly difference among different combination. (CD133-MAGEA4-/CD133-MAGEA4+/CD133+MAGEA4-/CD133+MAGEA4+: 65.6 months vs.51.5 months vs.32.2 months vs.19.8 months, P=0.000, CD133-NY-ESO-1-/ CD133+NY-ESO-1-/CD133-NY-ESO-1+/ CD133+NY-ESO-1+: 57.8 months vs. 55.7 months vs. 44.6 months vs. 28.5 months, P=0.000, CD133-MAGEA10-/CD133+ MAGEA10-/CD133-MAGEA10-/CD133+MAGEA10+: 66.2 months vs. 57.2 months vs. 48.8 months vs. 41.4 months, P=0.001). There is no difference between patients received adjuvant chemotherapy or not, but subgroup analysis showed that the patients with CD133+NY-ESO-1+ expression who received chemotherapy will survive longer than not receive adjuvant chemotherapy (received vs. not received, 52.1 vs. 27.1 months, P=0.020). In the subgroup with EGFR mutation/ALK translocation/Ros1 translocation/Ret fusion, the trend remained but without a statistically significant difference. Multivariate COX regression analysis showed that stage, CD133, CD133-MAGEA4- and CD133-NY-ESO-1- are independent prognostic factors. In conclusion, CTAs (MAGE-A4, NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A10) were more likely expressed in patients with squamous cell carcinoma and when CTAs combined with CD133, they can be better prognostic factors. Patients with CD133+NY-ESO-1+ expression may survive longer when treated with adjuvant chemotherapy, which indicates that the CD133 and CTAs might be a potential marker to guide adjuvant chemotherapy in this population.

Wang L, Xu Y, Luo C, et al.
MAGEA10 gene expression in non-small cell lung cancer and A549 cells, and the affinity of epitopes with the complex of HLA-A(∗)0201 alleles.
Cell Immunol. 2015; 297(1):10-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
MAGEA10, a cancer/testis antigens expressed in tumors but not in normal tissues with the exception of testis and placenta, represents an attractive target for cancer immunotherapy. However, suppressive cytoenvironment and requirement of specific HLA-alleles presentation frequently led to immunotherapy failure. In this study MAGEA10 was scarcely expressed in cancer patients, but enhanced by viili polysaccharides, which indicates a possibility of increasing epitopes presentation. Furthermore the correlation of gene expression with methylation, indicated by R(2) value for MAGEA10 that was 3 times higher than the value for other MAGE genes tested, provides an explanation of why MAGEA10 was highly inhibited, this is also seen by Kaplan-Meier analysis because MAGEA10 did not change the patients' lifespan. By using Molecular-Docking method, 3 MAGEA10 peptides were found binding to the groove position of HLA-A(∗)0210 as same as MAGEA4 peptide co-crystallized with HLA-A(∗)0210, which indicates that they could be promising for HLA-A(∗)0201 presentation in immunotherapy.

Ikeda H, Shiku H
Adoptive immunotherapy of cancer utilizing genetically engineered lymphocytes.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2015; 64(7):903-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is becoming increasingly clear that adoptive immunotherapy with genetically engineered T cells has the potential to control and even cure cancer in some patients. On the other hand, severe adverse events associated with efficacy have frequently been reported in clinical trials. Current and near-future challenges for the development of adoptive immunotherapy of cancer using genetically engineered T cells include minimization and prediction of adverse events; identification of new and effective targets, including patient-specific mutations; improvement in T cell functionality, persistence, and memory formation capacity; and utilization of allogeneic or cell line-based T cells.

Kageyama S, Ikeda H, Miyahara Y, et al.
Adoptive Transfer of MAGE-A4 T-cell Receptor Gene-Transduced Lymphocytes in Patients with Recurrent Esophageal Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(10):2268-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Preparative lymphodepletion, the temporal ablation of the immune system, has been reported to promote persistence of transferred cells along with increased rates of tumor regression in patients treated with adoptive T-cell therapy. However, it remains unclear whether lymphodepletion is indispensable for immunotherapy with T-cell receptor (TCR) gene-engineered T cells.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We conducted a first-in-man clinical trial of TCR gene-transduced T-cell transfer in patients with recurrent MAGE-A4-expressing esophageal cancer. The patients were given sequential MAGE-A4 peptide vaccinations. The regimen included neither lymphocyte-depleting conditioning nor administration of IL2. Ten patients, divided into 3 dose cohorts, received T-cell transfer.
RESULTS: TCR-transduced cells were detected in the peripheral blood for 1 month at levels proportional to the dose administered, and in 5 patients they persisted for more than 5 months. The persisting cells maintained ex vivo antigen-specific tumor reactivity. Despite the long persistence of the transferred T cells, 7 patients exhibited tumor progression within 2 months after the treatment. Three patients who had minimal tumor lesions at baseline survived for more than 27 months.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that TCR-engineered T cells created by relatively short-duration in vitro culture of polyclonal lymphocytes in peripheral blood retained the capacity to survive in a host. The discordance between T-cell survival and tumor regression suggests that multiple mechanisms underlie the benefits of preparative lymphodepletion in adoptive T-cell therapy.

Kang J, Lee HJ, Kim J, et al.
Dysregulation of X chromosome inactivation in high grade ovarian serous adenocarcinoma.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0118927 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: One of the two copies of the X chromosome is randomly inactivated in females as a means of dosage compensation. Loss of X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is observed in breast and ovarian cancers, and is frequent in basal-like subtype and BRCA1 mutation-associated breast cancers. We investigated the clinical implications of the loss of XCI in ovarian cancer and the association between the loss of XCI and BRCA1 dysfunction.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used open source data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Genome Data Analysis Centers. Ward's hierarchical clustering method was used to classify the methylation status of the X chromosome.
RESULTS: We grouped 584 high grade serous ovarian adenocarcinomas (HG-SOA) according to methylation status, loss of heterozygosity and deletion or gain of X chromosome into the following five groups: preserved inactivated X chromosome (Xi) group (n = 175), partial reactivation of Xi group (n = 100), p arm deletion of Xi group (n = 35), q arm deletion of Xi group (n = 44), and two copies of active X group (n = 230). We found four genes (XAGE3, ZNF711, MAGEA4, and ZDHHC15) that were up-regulated by loss of XCI. HG-SOA with loss of XCI showed aggressive behavior (overall survival of partial reactivation of Xi group: HR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.5, two copies of active X group: HR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-1.9). Mutation and hypermethylation of BRCA1 were not frequent in HG-SOA with loss of XCI.
CONCLUSIONS: Loss of XCI is common in HG-SOA and is associated with poor clinical outcome. The role of BRCA1 in loss of XCI might be limited. XCI induced aberrant expression of cancer-testis antigens, which may have a role in tumor aggressiveness.

Grah JJ, Katalinic D, Juretic A, et al.
Clinical significance of immunohistochemical expression of cancer/testis tumor-associated antigens (MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3/4, NY-ESO-1) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Tumori. 2014 Jan-Feb; 100(1):60-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS AND BACKGROUND: This paper deals with the clinical significance of the immunohistochemical expression of MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3/4 and NY-ESO-1 antigens in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: The study included 80 patients with NSCLC (40 with adenocarcinoma, 40 with squamous cell carcinoma) who had undergone surgery. MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3/4 antigen expression was determined by an immunohistochemical method using the monoclonal antibody 57B, and NY-ESO-1 antigen expression was determined with the addition of the B9.8.1.1 antibody. The expression of these antigens was compared with the clinicopathological features of the tumors and the survival of the patients.
RESULTS: MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3/4 and NY-ESO-1 were expressed in 17.3%, 44.4% and 18.5% of NSCLC patients, respectively. A statistically higher immunohistological expression rate of MAGE-A3/4 was found in squamous cell carcinoma (P <0.001) and a significantly higher amount of tumor necrosis was observed in tumors with MAGE-3 expression (P = 0.001), but no correlation with positive lymph nodes was found. There was a statistically significant correlation between MAGE-A1 expression in adenocarcinoma and the presence of tumor necrosis (P = 0.05). Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between NY-ESO-1 expression and positive lymph nodes in adenocarcinoma, but not in squamous cell carcinoma. No statistically significant difference in patient survival was found with regard to tumor type and the observed histopathological characteristics except tumor size. Statistically significantly better survival was found in the group of patients with adenocarcinomas who had positive expression of MAGE-A3/4 (P = 0.012).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that the expression of MAGE-A3/4 antigen might be a valuable prognostic factor regarding survival in patients with NSCLC.

Gunda V, Cogdill AP, Bernasconi MJ, et al.
Potential role of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine induced MAGE-A4 expression in immunotherapy for anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Surgery. 2013; 154(6):1456-62; discussion 1462 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Melanoma antigen gene family (MAGE)-A4, a member of the cancer testis antigen family, has been reported in various cancers including melanoma, bladder, head and neck, oral, and lung, and is a potential target for T-cell-receptor-based immunotherapy. Baseline expression levels of the MAGE-A4 gene in thyroid cancer cell lines have not been previously studied thoroughly.
METHODS: Human thyroid cancer cell lines (8505c, HTh7, BCPAP, and TPC-1) were treated with either 10 μmol/L 5'-azacytidine (Aza) or 10 μmol/L 5-AZA-2'deoxycytidine (DAC) and evaluated for various MAGEA gene expression. Later melanoma cell lines A375 and 8505c were treated with PLX4720 in combination with DAC and evaluated for MAGE-A4 expression.
RESULTS: Only BCPAP cells expressed moderate levels of MAGE-A3 and MAGE-A6 at baseline. Treatment with DAC/Aza induced the expression of MAGE-A4 and MAGE-A1 in 8505c cells. PLX4720 treatment did not affect MAGE-A4 expression in 8505c cells, but increased its expression in A375 cells. In contrast, addition of PLX4720 to DAC-treated 8505c cells decreased the previously induced MAGE-A4 expression by DAC in these cells. A similar decrease in MAGE-A4 expression by DAC was also seen in 8505cBRAF(-/-) cells. Although DAC treatment resulted in demethylation of the MAGE-A4 promoter in 2 CpG sites, PLX addition to DAC did not affect the demethylation status.
CONCLUSION: Demethylating agents increased the expression of MAGE genes in thyroid cancer cells. The effect of BRAFV600E inhibitors on MAGE-A4 expression suggest the role of downstream MEK/BRAF signaling in its expression apart from promoter demethylation being the sole requirement. Expression of MAGE-A4 may make immunotherapeutic intervention possible in selected patients with thyroid cancer.

Bode PK, Thielken A, Brandt S, et al.
Cancer testis antigen expression in testicular germ cell tumorigenesis.
Mod Pathol. 2014; 27(6):899-905 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer testis antigens are encoded by germ line-associated genes that are present in normal germ cells of testis and ovary but not in differentiated tissues. Their expression in various human cancer types has been interpreted as 're-expression' or as intratumoral progenitor cell signature. Cancer testis antigen expression patterns have not yet been studied in germ cell tumorigenesis with specific emphasis on intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified as a precursor lesion for testicular germ cell tumors. Immunohistochemistry was used to study MAGEA3, MAGEA4, MAGEC1, GAGE1 and CTAG1B expression in 325 primary testicular germ cell tumors, including 94 mixed germ cell tumors. Seminomatous and non-seminomatous components were separately arranged and evaluated on tissue microarrays. Spermatogonia in the normal testis were positive, whereas intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified was negative for all five CT antigens. Cancer testis antigen expression was only found in 3% (CTAG1B), 10% (GAGE1, MAGEA4), 33% (MAGEA3) and 40% (MAGEC1) of classic seminoma but not in non-seminomatous testicular germ cell tumors. In contrast, all spermatocytic seminomas were positive for cancer testis antigens. These data are consistent with a different cell origin in spermatocytic seminoma compared with classic seminoma and support a progression model with loss of cancer testis antigens in early tumorigenesis of testicular germ cell tumors and later re-expression in a subset of seminomas.

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.

Lee HS, Kim SW, Hong JC, et al.
Expression of MAGE A1-6 and the clinical characteristics of papillary thyroid carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(4):1731-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The expression of melanoma-associated antigen (MAGE) gene has been studied in many types of cancer. In the present study we evaluated the correlation between MAGE expression and the clinical features and oncologic outcomes of patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of 85 patients who underwent surgery for PTC and analysis of their tumor tissue by nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with the MAGE common primer to detect the MAGE A1-6 gene. The associations between MAGE expression and clinical characteristics were analyzed.
RESULTS: Expression of MAGE A1-6 in PTC was identified in 31 patients (36.5%). Only papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC) was significantly related to MAGE expression in our univariate analysis (p=0.002) and multivariate analysis (p=0.006). MAGE had no significant impact on survival.
CONCLUSION: Expression of MAGE A1-6 in PTC is significantly correlated with the presence of PTMC. Our study suggests that MAGE expression may be related to early-stage PTC.

Schirmer U, Fiegl H, Pfeifer M, et al.
Epigenetic regulation of L1CAM in endometrial carcinoma: comparison to cancer-testis (CT-X) antigens.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:156 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: L1CAM was originally identified as an adhesion molecule involved in neural development. In many human carcinomas L1CAM is over-expressed and is associated with a bad prognosis. We previously reported that L1CAM was absent in the vast majority of endometrioid endometrial carcinomas (ECs) (type 1) but was strongly expressed in the more aggressive serous and clear-cell ECs (termed type 2). The differential regulation of L1CAM in ECs is not well understood. Recent evidence suggests that it can be regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. Here we investigated the role of DNA-methylation of the L1CAM promoter for expression. We also studied the relationship to cancer testis (CT-X) antigens that co-localize with L1CAM on chromosome Xq28, a region that is often activated in human tumors.
METHODS: We used EC cell lines and primary tumor tissues for our analysis. For expression analysis we employed RT-PCR and Western blotting. DNA-Methylation of the L1CAM promoter was determined after bisulfite conversation and DNA sequencing. Tumor tissues were examined by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining.
RESULTS: We demonstrate that the treatment of L1CAM low/negative expressing EC cell lines with 5'-Azacytidine (5-AzaC) or knock-down of DNMT1 (DNA methyltransferase 1) as well as the HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitor Trichostatin A (TSA) up-regulated L1CAM at the mRNA and protein level. The L1CAM gene has two promoter regions with two distinct CpG islands. We observed that the expression of L1CAM correlated with hypermethylation in promoter 1 and 5-AzaC treatment affected the DNA-methylation pattern in this region. The CT-X antigens NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A3 and MAGE-A4 were also strongly up-regulated by 5-AzaC or knock-down of DNMT1 but did not respond to treatment with TSA. Primary EC tumor tissues showed a variable methylation pattern of the L1CAM promoter. No striking differences in promoter methylation were observed between tumor areas with L1CAM expression and those without expression.
CONCLUSIONS: L1CAM expression correlated with methylation of the L1CAM promoter in EC cell lines. In negative cell lines L1CAM expression is up-regulated by epigenetic mechanism. Although genes localized on Xq28 are often re-expressed by human tumors, L1CAM and CT-X antigens show distinct regulation in response to HADC inhibitors and 5-AzaC.

Cabezón T, Gromova I, Gromov P, et al.
Proteomic profiling of triple-negative breast carcinomas in combination with a three-tier orthogonal technology approach identifies Mage-A4 as potential therapeutic target in estrogen receptor negative breast cancer.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2013; 12(2):381-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is a very heterogeneous disease, encompassing several intrinsic subtypes with various morphological and molecular features, natural history and response to therapy. Currently, molecular targeted therapies are available for estrogen receptor (ER)(-) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2)-positive breast tumors. However, a significant proportion of primary breast cancers are negative for ER, progesterone receptor (PgR), and Her2, comprising the triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) group. Women with TNBC have a poor prognosis because of the aggressive nature of these tumors and current lack of suitable targeted therapies. As a consequence, the identification of novel relevant protein targets for this group of patients is of great importance. Using a systematic two dimensional (2D) gel-based proteomic profiling strategy, applied to the analysis of fresh TNBC tissue biopsies, in combination with a three-tier orthogonal technology (two dimensional PAGE/silver staining coupled with MS, two dimensional Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry) approach, we aimed to identify targetable protein markers that were present in a significant fraction of samples and that could define therapy-amenable sub-groups of TNBCs. We present here our results, including a large cumulative database of proteins based on the analysis of 78 TNBCs, and the identification and validation of one specific protein, Mage-A4, which was expressed in a significant fraction of TNBC and Her2-positive/ER negative lesions. The high level expression of Mage-A4 in the tumors studied allowed the detection of the protein in the tumor interstitial fluids as well as in sera. The existence of immunotherapeutics approaches specifically targeting this protein, or Mage-A protein family members, and the fact that we were able to detect its presence in serum suggest novel management options for TNBC and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive/estrogen receptor negative patients bearing Mage-A4 positive tumors.

Baba T, Shiota H, Kuroda K, et al.
Clinical significance of human leukocyte antigen loss and melanoma-associated antigen 4 expression in smokers of non-small cell lung cancer patients.
Int J Clin Oncol. 2013; 18(6):997-1004 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Melanoma-associated antigen-A4 (MAGE-A4) is one of the candidates for a target of immunotherapy and is expressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, tumors sometimes lose human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I expression, and tumor-specific T cells cannot eliminate the tumor with loss of HLA. However, the relationship between MAGE-A4 expression and HLA loss has remained unclear.
METHODS: Among 363 NSCLC patients who consecutively underwent curative surgery, 187 cases whose material could be analyzed were reviewed. The expression of HLA class I molecules was assessed by immunohistochemical staining. The expression of MAGE-A4 was analyzed by RT-PCR.
RESULTS: Seventy-seven tumors expressed HLA normally; however, 110 tumors lost HLA. The proportion of patients with a smoking habit and expressing the MAGE-A4 gene in patients with HLA loss was higher than those with HLA expression (p = 0.04 and 0.028, respectively). Five-year overall survival (OS) rate in the patients expressing MAGE-A4 but with loss of HLA was 52.4 %, and OS was significantly poorer than their counterparts (74.0 %, p = 0.036). Multivariate analysis indicated that advanced stage or history of smoking and HLA loss was an independently poor prognostic predictor of OS in NSCLC (p < 0.01 and p = 0.04, respectively).
CONCLUSION: HLA class I loss in NSCLC was related to smoking history and MAGE-A4 expression of tumors. HLA class I loss in smokers or patients with the MAGE-A4 gene was a prognostic factors in NSCLC.

Cappell KM, Sinnott R, Taus P, et al.
Multiple cancer testis antigens function to support tumor cell mitotic fidelity.
Mol Cell Biol. 2012; 32(20):4131-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
While the expression of genes that are normally involved in spermatogenesis is frequently detected in tumors, the extent to which these gene products are required for neoplastic behaviors is unclear. To begin to address their functional relevance to tumorigenesis, we identified a cohort of proteins which display synthetic lethality with paclitaxel in non-small-cell lung cancer and whose expression is biased toward testes and tumors. Remarkably, these testis proteins, FMR1NB, NXF2, MAGEA5, FSIP1, and STARD6, are required for accurate chromosome segregation in tumor cells. Their individual depletion enhances the generation of multipolar spindles, increases mitotic transit time, and induces micronucleation in response to an otherwise innocuous dose of paclitaxel. The underlying basis for abnormal mitosis is an alteration in microtubule function, as their depletion increases microtubule cytaster formation and disrupts microtubule stability. Given these observations, we hypothesize that reactivated testis proteins may represent unique tumor cell vulnerabilities which, if targeted, could enhance responsiveness to antimitotic therapy. Indeed, we demonstrate that combining paclitaxel with a small-molecule inhibitor of the gametogenic and tumor cell mitotic protein TACC3 leads to enhanced centrosomal abnormalities, activation of death programs, and loss of anchorage-independent growth.

Bhan S, Chuang A, Negi SS, et al.
MAGEA4 induces growth in normal oral keratinocytes by inhibiting growth arrest and apoptosis.
Oncol Rep. 2012; 28(4):1498-502 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer testis antigens (CTAs) are proteins that are normally expressed only in male germ cells and are aberrantly upregulated in a variety of cancers such as melanomas and lung cancer. MAGEA proteins belong to Class I CTAs and are being utilized as targets for cancer immunotherapy. Despite the discovery of the first CTA (MAGEA1) 20 years ago, the functions of these proteins remain poorly understood and evidence suggests both oncogenic as well as tumor suppressive roles for these proteins. Herein, we investigated the role of MAGEA4 in promoting cell growth. When overexpressed, MAGEA4 promotes growth of spontaneously transformed normal oral keratinocytes (NOK-SI). To understand the mechanism of growth stimulation by MAGEA4, we explored the effect of overexpressing MAGEA4 on cell cycle and apoptosis. MAGEA4 inhibits growth arrest of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. We also found that overexpression of MAGEA4 inhibits G418-induced apoptosis of NOK-SI cells. Interestingly, this inhibition was accompanied by repression of two p53 downstream genes, BAX and CDKN1A. Our results indicate that MAGEA4 promotes growth by preventing cell cycle arrest and by inhibiting apoptosis mediated by the p53 transcriptional targets.

Baba T, Shiota H, Kuroda K, et al.
Cancer/testis antigen expression as a predictor for epidermal growth factor receptor mutation and prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma.
Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2013; 43(4):759-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Immune therapy targeting cancer/testis (CT) antigens improve the survival in several types of solid tumours. The expression of CT antigens is related to poor survival in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation is the best predictive factor for the sensitivity to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in lung adenocarcinoma. The aim of this study was to elucidate the correlation between the expression of CT antigens and clinicopathological factors, including the EGFR mutation, and to analyse the prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma.
METHODS: Data were collected from a total of 281 lung adenocarcinoma patients who underwent surgery. Among them, 125 cases, whose specimens were too small to extract sufficient DNA and/or RNA, and 2 cases with the coexistence of another histological lung cancer were excluded. A total of 154 patients were reviewed. The expression of CT antigens (melanoma-associated antigen gene [MAGE]-A4 and KK-LC-1) and the EGFR-activating mutation (L858R point mutation in exon 21 and inframe deletion in exon 19) was evaluated by using polymerase chain reaction amplification.
RESULTS: The expression of MAGE-A4 and KK-LC-1 was detected in 14 (9%) and 54 patients (35%) with adenocarcinoma. The EGFR-activating mutation was found in 64 patients (42%). Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated that tumours expressing at least one CT antigen were associated with no EGFR mutation (odds ratio = 0.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.14-0.71; P < 0.01). A survival analysis was performed in 135 patients who underwent complete resection and the 5-year overall survival rate was 71.1% in those with any expression of CT antigens and 83.2% in those without expression of the genes (P < 0.04).
CONCLUSION: Two different therapeutic targets, EGFR-activating mutation and CT antigen, have a negative relationship with each other.

Hussein YM, Morad FE, Gameel MA, et al.
MAGE-4 gene m-RNA and TGF in blood as potential biochemical markers for HCC in HCV-infected patients.
Med Oncol. 2012; 29(5):3055-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Progression from chronic hepatitis C virus infection to cirrhosis then to hepatocellular carcinoma usually results in some protein changes in peripheral blood. We evaluated MAGE-4 mRNA, TGFβ1 and AFP in peripheral blood as potential biochemical markers for diagnosis and prognosis of some complications of HCV infection. MAGE-4 mRNA in blood by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, serum TGF-Β1 and AFP by ELISA was assayed in seventy-five individuals who were classified into five groups: group I (control) comprised fifteen apparently healthy volunteers, group II involved fifteen HCV-infected patients without cirrhosis, group III involved fifteen HCV fifteen HCV-infected patients with cirrhosis, group IV included fifteen HCV-infected patients with cirrhosis and early stage HCC, and group V included fifteen HCV cirrhotic patients and late-stage HCC. We found that the frequency of positivity of MAGE-4 among the late hepatoma group was 40 %, while in the early hepatoma group the positivity was 6.7 %. The results for TGF-Β1 revealed a significant increase in serum TGF-Β1 in groups IV and V as compared to control, II, III groups. The obtained results of AFP showed a significant positive increase in serum AFP in groups IV and V when compared to groups II and III. Detection of MAGE-4 transcripts in blood, especially with follow-up survey, may help to predict the prognosis and monitoring of the response to the therapy, and serum TGF-Β1 level in HCC patients is directly correlated with metastasis and recurrence of tumors and increases gradually with the progression of HCC.

Park JH, Do NY, Han SI, Lim SC
Usefulness of the melanoma antigen gene (MAGE) in making the differential diagnosis between pleomorphic adenoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma.
J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012; 41(1):20-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the clinical usefulness of the melanoma antigen gene (MAGE) in making the differential diagnosis between pleomorphic adenoma (PA) and adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC). In addition, using real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we examined which melanoma antigen gene was actually expressed in each tumour.
MATERIALS AND METHOD: Immunohistochemical staining was performed on samples of paraffin-embedded tissue specimens. Fifty-eight patients were diagnosed as PA (n  =  31), ACC (n  =  17), and nontumoral salivary tissue (n  =  10) using MAGEA and MAGEA4. Using primers that could express MAGEA1, -A2, -A3, -A4, -A6, -A10, and -A12 subtypes, real-time RT-PCR was performed in three cases of PA and four cases of ACC that occurred in fresh tissues.
RESULT: We found no immunohistochemical expression of MAGEA or MAGEA4 in the nontumoral tissue. There was a mild degree of expression with no statistical significance in cases of PA. In ACC, however, in 17 cases (100%) and 16 cases (95%), there was a positive reaction to MAGEA and MAGEA4, respectively. In the RT-PCR analysis, PA showed no MAGE gene expression. However, both MAGEA3 and MAGEA4 were expressed in ACC.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that MAGE could be used as a biologic marker in the differential diagnosis between PA and ACC. Our results also indicate that the expression of MAGE, as confirmed in the RT-PCR analysis, could be used as an alternative method for the early diagnosis of salivary gland tumours.

Nishikawa H, Maeda Y, Ishida T, et al.
Cancer/testis antigens are novel targets of immunotherapy for adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.
Blood. 2012; 119(13):3097-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is an intractable hematologic malignancy caused by human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), which infects approximately 20 million people worldwide. Here, we have explored the possible expression of cancer/testis (CT) antigens by ATLL cells, as CT antigens are widely recognized as ideal targets of cancer immunotherapy against solid tumors. A high percentage (87.7%) of ATLL cases (n = 57) expressed CT antigens at the mRNA level: NY-ESO-1 (61.4%), MAGE-A3 (31.6%), and MAGE-A4 (61.4%). CT antigen expression was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. This contrasts with other types of lymphoma or leukemia, which scarcely express these CT antigens. Humoral immune responses, particularly against NY-ESO-1, were detected in 11.6% (5 of 43) and NY-ESO-1-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses were observed in 55.6% (5 of 9) of ATLL patients. NY-ESO-1-specific CD8(+) T cells recognized autologous ATLL cells and produced effector cytokines. Thus, ATLL cells characteristically express CT antigens and therefore vaccination with CT antigens can be an effective immunotherapy of ATLL.

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