Two members of the human MAGEB gene family located in Xp21.3 are expressed in tumors of various histological origins.

PMID 9441743


Genes of the MAGE family direct the expression of tumor antigens recognized on a human melanoma by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes. Twelve closely related MAGE genes are located in the Xq28 region. These genes share 60-98% nucleotide identity in their coding region. The presence of homologous genes in a region of Xp21.3 has been reported previously. We obtained the complete sequence of a 42-kb stretch of this region. It contains four MAGE-related genes, which we propose to name MAGE-B1, B2, B3, and B4 (HGMW-approved symbols MAGEB1, MAGEB2, MAGEB3, and MAGEB4). The coding regions of these genes share 66-81% nucleotide identity and show 45-63% identity with those of the MAGE genes located in Xq28. Like the MAGE genes located in Xq28, the MAGE-B genes are silent in normal tissues with the exception of testis. Like MAGE-1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 (HGMW-approved symbols MAGEA1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12), genes MAGE-B1 and MAGE-B2 are expressed in a significant fraction of tumors of various histological types. The transcription of MAGE-B1 and MAGE-B2 can be induced by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, suggesting that the activation of these genes in tumors results from a demethylation process.