[Melanoma antigen-3 expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma].

S. Cai*, H. Zhao, X. Leng, J. Cheng, S. Gong, J. Peng, X. Cong, Y. Wang, J. Rui, Y. Hui, R. Du, W. Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


To investigate the expression of melanoma antigen-3 (MAGE-3) mRNA in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and probe into the theoretical feasibility that MAGE-3 antigens can be developed as a new peptide vaccine for immunotherapy in HCC patients. The expression of MAGE-3 mRNA in HCC tissues and the adjacent non-HCC liver tissues was studied using RT-PCR in 45 HCC patients. The results were compared with those of 16 cirrhotic patients and 12 patients whose liver tissues were pathologically normal. MAGE-3 mRNA positive PCR products were DNA sequenced in 3 HCC patients. The sequenced fragments of MAGE-3 cDNA were used as template by which a [alpha(32)P] labeled probe was synthesized and employed for Southern blot analysis. HLA class I-A and -B typing of 43 HCC patients were assayed by ELISA. Of the 45 HCC samples, 35 (78%) expressed MAGE-3 mRNA and six HCC adjacent tissues were also positive in MAGE-3 expression. Pathological examination showed cellular heteromorphism in these adjacent tissues. The non-HCC liver tissues from cirrhosis and normal liver samples were not MAGE-3 mRNA detectable. The DNA sequence confirmed that the target gene fragment in all of the 3 samples of PCR products was MAGE-3 cDNA. Southern blotting result confirmed that of RT-PCR assay. In HCC patients, the predominant types of HLA were A(2) (53.5%), A(11) (25.6%), A(24) (20.9%), A(33) (20.9%), B(13) (28.3%), and B(35) (23.2%). MAGE-3 mRNA expression in HCC showed no correlation with the level of serum AFP and the size of the tumor. MAGE-3 mRNA is expressed at a high percentage of HCC samples. This tumor rejection antigen may be used as peptide vaccine for immunotherapy of HCC patients. The phenomena that some non-HCC adjacent tissues with heteromorphism can express MAGE-3 like their paired HCC tissues indicate that the expression of MAGE-3 may be an indicator in the early stage of carcinogenesis of liver tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-696
Number of pages4
JournalZhonghua wai ke za zhi [Chinese journal of surgery]
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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