A MAGE-6-encoded peptide is recognized by expanded lymphocytes infiltrating a spontaneously regressing human primary melanoma lesion

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Feb;29(2):602-7. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199902)29:02<602::AID-IMMU602>3.0.CO;2-Y.


In recent years, experiments based on the in vitro stimulation of either autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes or tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes with melanoma cells have shown that distinct members of the large MAGE gene family encode tumor-associated antigenic peptides. However, little is still known about natural anti-MAGE responses in vivo. We have studied a case of spontaneously regressing human melanoma, hypothesizing that in this unique situation, the host immune system had developed an efficient cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against the cancer cells. Amongst the dense tumor infiltrate, certain clonal populations of T cells were shown to be amplified, thereby suggesting that an antigen-driven selection had occurred at the tumor site. One of the expanded tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was shown to be a Vbeta13+ CD8+ CTL displaying a strong and selective cytotoxic activity against the autologous melanoma cells. Here we show that this cytotoxic T cell clone recognizes a MAGE-6-encoded peptide. MAGE-6 is therefore the fourth gene of the MAGE family shown to encode antigenic peptide recognized by T cells. Together, these data provide further evidence that T cell responses against MAGE antigens may naturally develop in vivo.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / immunology*
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Neoplasm Regression, Spontaneous / immunology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • MAGEA6 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins