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Stem Cells Int. 2011;2011:795239. doi: 10.4061/2011/795239. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

Expression patterns of cancer-testis antigens in human embryonic stem cells and their cell derivatives indicate lineage tracks.

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1
Kol'tsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 26 Vavilov Street, Moscow 119334, Russia.

Abstract

Pluripotent stem cells can differentiate into various lineages but undergo genetic and epigenetic changes during long-term cultivation and, therefore, require regular monitoring. The expression patterns of cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) MAGE-A2, -A3, -A4, -A6, -A8, -B2, and GAGE were examined in undifferentiated human embryonic stem (hES) cells, their differentiated derivatives, teratocarcinoma (hEC) cells, and cancer cell lines of neuroectodermal and mesodermal origin. Undifferentiated hES cells and embryoid body cells expressed MAGE-A3, -A6, -A4, -A8, and GAGEs while later differentiated derivatives expressed only MAGE-A8 or MAGE-A4. Likewise, mouse pluripotent stem cells also express CTAs of Magea but not Mageb family. Despite similarity of the hES and hEC cell expression patterns, MAGE-A2 and MAGE-B2 were detected only in hEC cells but not in hES cells. Moreover, our analysis has shown that CTAs are aberrantly expressed in cancer cell lines and display low tissue specificity. The identification of CTA expression patterns in pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives may be useful for isolation of abnormally CTA-expressing cells to improve the safety of stem-cell based therapy.

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