Author(s): Kocher T, SchultzThater E, Gudat F, Schaefer C, Casorati G
The human MAGE-3 gene encodes a melanoma antigenic epitope recognized by specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, but its gene product has not been identified thus far. We produced a recombinant MAGE-3 gene product by expression cloning of the entire reading frame in the context of a fusion protein characterized by a 10-histidine tail, allowing purification by metal chelation on a nickel Sepharose column. The semipurified product was used to generate MAGE-3-specific monoclonal antibodies. One reagent could identify by immunoblotting the native MAGE-3 gene product as a M(r) 48,000 protein in lysates of cell lines showing evidence of MAGE-3 gene expression. No apparent cross-reactivity with recombinant or native MAGE-1 gene product was observed. Immunohistochemistry shows that, closely resembling the MAGE-1 gene product, MAGE-3 is a cytoplasmic protein.