The MMA1 gene family of cancer-testis antigens has multiple alternative splice variants: characterization of their expression profile, the genomic organization, and transcript properties

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2005 Jan;42(1):10-21. doi: 10.1002/gcc.20107.


Previously, we reported the identification of MMA1A by screening for differential gene expression in two human melanoma cell lines displaying diverse metastatic behavior after subcutaneous inoculation into nude mice. Splice variant MMA1B, which also was identified through database homology searches, showed a high degree of similarity with the MMA1A for exons 1, 2, and 4, but was missing exon 3. Through extensive expression profiling among normal and tumor samples, both MMA1A and -1B were found to belong to the family of cancer-testis antigens. In this study, we identified four additional alternatively spliced MMA1 variants, named MMA1C, MMA1D, MMA1E, and MMA1F. Generally, these novel MMA1 transcripts differ from MMA1A in that exon 2 or exon 3 is enlarged because of the use of alternative splice sites in intron 2 of the MMA1 gene. Moreover, MMA1E also lacks exon 3, as was previously seen in MMA1B. In screening for expression of the novel MMA1 transcripts in normal and tumor tissues, we demonstrated that MMA1C, -1D, and -1E also are members of the cancer-testis antigen family. MMA1F was found in only one melanoma metastasis sample and therefore is believed to have been expressed incidentally. Furthermore, we comprehensively elucidated the genomic structure of the MMA1 gene and the characteristic features of the alternatively spliced MMA1 transcripts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Testicular Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • DNA Primers
  • DSCR8 protein, human