BAGE: a new gene encoding an antigen recognized on human melanomas by cytolytic T lymphocytes

Immunity. 1995 Feb;2(2):167-75. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(95)80053-0.


Several tumor antigens are recognized by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL) on human melanoma MZ2-MEL. Some of them are encoded by genes MAGE-1 and MAGE-3, which are not expressed in normal tissues except in testis. Here, we report the identification of a new gene that codes for another of these antigens. This gene, named BAGE, codes for a putative protein of 43 aa and seems to belong to a family of several genes. The antigen recognized by the autologous CTL consists of BAGE-encoded peptide AARAVFLAL bound to an HLA-Cw 1601 molecule. Gene BAGE is expressed in 22% of melanomas, 30% of infiltrating bladder carcinomas, 10% of mammary carcinomas, 8% of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, and 6% of non-small cell lung carcinomas. Like the MAGE genes, it is silent in normal tissues with the exception of testis. Because of its tumor-specific expression, the BAGE-encoded antigen may prove useful for cancer immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / isolation & purification
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / immunology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organ Specificity
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • BAGE protein, human
  • BAGE3 protein, human
  • BAGE4 protein, human
  • BAGE5 protein, human

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U19180