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Int J Cancer. 2000 Dec 15;88(6):845-51.

Serological analysis of BALB/C methylcholanthrene sarcoma Meth A by SEREX: identification of a cancer/testis antigen.

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Department of Immunology, Okayama University Medical School, Okayama, Japan.


Antigens of BALB/c methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma Meth A recognized by the host humoral immune response were investigated by serological analysis of antigens by recombinant expression cloning (SEREX). Immunoscreening a cDNA library from Meth A (Kgamma) cells (Meth A retrovirally transfected with murine IFN-gamma cDNA) with sera from BALB/c mice growing parental Meth A transplants identified 10 antigens. One of them, OY-MS-4, showed characteristics of a cancer/testis (CT) antigen. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that OY-MS-4 was identical to a mouse placenta and embryonic expression gene (pem) known to be selectively expressed during embryogenesis and in transformed cell lines. In adult mice, expression of OY-MS-4 was restricted to testis and placenta. Four of 6 methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcomas in BALB/c mice showed strong expression of OY-MS-4. In 6 T-cell leukemias, only a dimethylbenzanthracene-induced leukemia, EL4 (C57BL), showed strong expression. Two other tumors, A20.2J and P815, induced by ethylnitrosourea and methylcholanthrene, respectively, also strongly expressed OY-MS-4. The other 9 gene products identified in Meth A by SEREX were expressed in all 15 tumors tested and in a range of normal tissues. Sequence analysis of cDNA inserts coding for the SEREX-defined antigens showed no evidence of mutation. Despite the expression of OY-MS-1-10 antigens in methylcholanthrene sarcomas other than Meth A, no antibody was detected in the sera of mice bearing these other sarcomas. The basis for the unique immunogenicity of OY-MS-1-10 presented by Meth A, but not by other syngeneic tumors expressing these gene products, is unknown.

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