Interleukin-2-induced, melanoma-specific T cells recognize CAMEL, an unexpected translation product of LAGE-1

Int J Cancer. 1999 Jul 30;82(3):442-8. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19990730)82:3<442::aid-ijc19>;2-z.


Melanoma-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) were induced by in vitro stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells of a melanoma patient with autologous IL-2-producing melanoma 518/IL2.14 cells. CTL clone 1/29 recognized, in addition to autologous melanoma cell lines, a panel of HLA-A*0201-expressing allogeneic melanoma cell lines but was not reactive with normal melanocytes. Here, we report the full molecular characterization of the target structure for CTL 1/29, which was identified by cDNA expression cloning. The recognized antigen was named CAMEL (CTL-recognized antigen on melanoma). The CAMEL cDNA turned out to be derived from the LAGE-1 gene, a recently described tumor antigen that is strongly homologous to NY-ESO-1. CAMEL, however, is not encoded by the putative open reading frame (ORF) of LAGE-1 but by an alternative frame starting from the second ATG of the mRNA. The first 11 amino acids of the CAMEL protein, MLMAQEALAFL, constitute the epitope of CTL 1/29. This epitope is also encoded by a similar alternative ORF in NY-ESO-1. In summary, CTL induction with IL-2-transfected melanoma cells has revealed a new tumor antigen that may serve as a target for immunotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • COS Cells
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Epitope Mapping
  • Genetic Code
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / therapeutic use*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Interleukin-2

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ012833
  • GENBANK/AJ012834
  • GENBANK/AJ012835