Infusion of TIL586 along with IL-2 into the autologous patient with metastatic melanoma resulted in the objective regression of tumor. Here, we report that screening a cDNA library from the 586mel cell line using CTL clones derived from TIL586 resulted in the isolation of a gene, CAG-3 (cancer Ag gene 3). Sequence analysis revealed that CAG-3 encodes an open reading frame identical to NY-ESO-1, which was recently reported to be recognized by autologous serum from a patient with esophageal cancer. Thus, NY-ESO-1 appears to be an immune target for both Ab- and T cell-mediated responses. Significantly, NY-ESO-1-specific CTL clones were capable of recognizing two HLA-A31-positive fresh and cultured breast tumors. To our knowledge, this represents the first direct demonstration that tumor-specific CTL clones can recognize both breast and melanoma tumor cells. A 10-mer antigenic peptide ESO10-53 (ASGPGGGAPR) was identified from the normal open reading frame of NY-ESO-1 based on its ability to sensitize HLA-A31-positive target cells for cytokine release and specific lysis. Interestingly, two additional CTL clones that were sensitized with NY-ESO-1 recognized two overlapping antigenic peptides derived from an alternative open reading frame of the same gene. These findings indicate that CTLs simultaneously responded to two different gene products translated from the normal and alternative reading frames of the same gene. Understanding of this mechanism by which the alternative reading frame is translated may have important implications in tumor immunology.