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Cancer Res. 2000 Jul 15;60(14):3848-55.

Identification on a human sarcoma of two new genes with tumor-specific expression.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Brussels Branch, and Cellular Genetics Unit, Universit√© Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.


Genes MAGE, BAGE, GAGE, and LAGE-1/NY-ESO-1 code for antigens that are recognized on melanoma cells by autologous CTLs. Because the pattern of expression of these genes results in the presence of antigens on many tumors of various histological types and not on normal tissues, these antigens qualify for cancer immunotherapy. To identify new genes with tumor-specific expression, we applied a cDNA subtraction approach, ie., representational difference analysis, to a human sarcoma cell line. We obtained two cDNA clones that appeared to be tumor specific. The corresponding genes were named SAGE and HAGE because they have the same pattern of expression as genes of the MAGE family. SAGE encodes a putative protein of 904 amino acids and shows no homology to any recorded gene. Like the MAGE-A genes, it is located in the q28 region of chromosome X. Expression of gene SAGE was observed mainly in bladder carcinoma, lung carcinoma, and head and neck carcinoma but not in normal tissues, with the exception of testis. Gene HAGE, which is located on chromosome 6, encodes a putative protein of 648 amino acids. This protein is a new member of the DEAD-box family of ATP-dependent RNA helicases. Gene HAGE is expressed in many tumors of various histological types at a level that is 100-fold higher than the level observed in normal tissues except testis. Because of this tumor-specific expression, genes SAGE and HAGE ought to encode antigens that could be useful for antitumoral therapeutic vaccination.

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