The MAGE-1 gene encodes a tumor-specific antigen, MZ2-E, which is recognized by cloned, specific cytolytic T cells (CTL) derived from the peripheral blood of a patient with melanoma. We have produced a MAGE-1-specific CTL line derived from the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) of a melanoma patient by weekly restimulation with autologous EBV-B cells pulsed with the synthetic HLA-A1-restricted MAGE-1 epitope nonapeptide EADPTGHSY. The 1277.A TIL line grew in long-term culture in low-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-4, and exhibited antigen-specific, MHC-class-I-restricted lysis of HLA-A1-bearing MAGE-1+ cell lines. Cytolysis of target cells pulsed with the synthetic MAGE-1 decapeptide KEADPTGHSY was superior to that of cells pulsed with the immunodominant nonapeptide. Single amino-acid or even side-chain substitutions in the immunodominant nonamer abrogated cytolysis. 1277.A TIL specifically secreted tumor necrosis factor alpha after co-incubation with HLA-A1-expressing MAGE-1+ cell lines or fresh tumor. These data suggest that tumor-antigen-specific, MHC-restricted CTL may be grown from TIL in the presence of synthetic epitope peptides and expanded for adoptive immunotherapy in melanoma patients.