Send to

Choose Destination
Urology. 1999 Apr;53(4):843-7.

Expression of MAGE genes in testicular germ cell tumors.

Author information

Department of Urology, Kobe University School of Medicine, Japan.



Some of the MAGE gene family that encode tumor-rejection antigens recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes are expressed at the mRNA level in various malignant tumors. However, these genes are silent in normal tissues, except in the testis and placenta. It is therefore important to understand how MAGE gene expression changes with malignant transformation of the testis. We investigated the expression of MAGE-1, -2, -3, and -4 genes at the mRNA level in testicular germ cell tumors.


Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction for MAGE genes was performed using 32 testicular germ cell tumor specimens.


MAGE-1, -2, -3, and -4 mRNA was detected in 16 (72%), 15 (68%), 18 (82%), and 17 (77%) of 22 patients with pure seminoma or mixed type with seminomatous elements. MAGE-1 , -2, -3, and -4 mRNA was found in 2 (20%), 5 (50%), 4 (40%), and 4 (40%) of 10 patients with nonseminomatous germ cell tumor (NSGCT). The expression rate of MAGE-1, -3, and -4 mRNA was significantly higher in patients with seminomatous elements than that in those with NSGCT. MAGE expression did not correlate with disease progression.


MAGE genes are more preserved in seminoma than in NSGCT. This suggests that seminoma has traits more similar to normal testis than does NSGCT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center