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J Immunother. 2003 Nov-Dec;26(6):461-7.

Pattern of gene expression and immune responses to Semenogelin 1 in chronic hematologic malignancies.

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas 79106, USA.


Normal testicular-specific proteins are frequently aberrantly expressed by tumor cells. Based on this, we have investigated Semenogelin 1, a major protein of human semen coagulum thought to be highly specific to seminal vesicles, in leukemic cells. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Semenogelin 1 gene was frequently expressed in chronic myeloid leukemia (5 of 8, 62.5%) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (5 of 12, 41.7%) but rarely in multiple myeloma (2 of 30, 6.7%). The gene was not expressed in bone marrow or peripheral blood from healthy donors. Semenogelin 1 expression is normally confined to the testis, suggesting that it is a novel Cancer-Testis (CT) antigen. Translation of the mRNA to Semenogelin 1 protein was confirmed by Western blot analysis of tumor cell lysates and by immunocytochemistry. The recombinant Semenogelin 1 protein was used with a control Escherichia coli-derived recombinant protein in ELISA and Western blot analysis to show that high titer IgG antibodies against Semenogelin 1 were detected in some patients, suggesting the in vivo immunogenicity of the protein. Immune responses predicted gene expression by the leukemia cells. Semenogelin 1 was also frequently coexpressed with other CT antigens, Sperm protein 17 and SPAN-Xb. These results therefore indicate that Semenogelin 1 is a novel CT antigen capable of inducing B-cell responses in vivo in chronic leukemias.

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