Identification of the MAGE-1 gene product by monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies
The human MAGE-1 gene encodes a melanoma peptide antigen recognized by autologous cytotoxic T lymphocytes. To produce antibodies against the MAGE-1 gene product, several approaches were taken. Three oligopeptides were synthesized based on predicted MAGE-1 amino acid sequences and were used to generate rabbit anti-peptide anti-sera. In addition, a truncated MAGE-1 cDNA was cloned into an Escherichia coli expression vector, and recombinant protein was produced and purified. All three rabbit anti-peptide antisera showed reactivity against the immunizing peptide, and one reacted with the recombinant MAGE-1 protein by immunoblotting, but none reacted with cell lysates from MAGE-1 mRNA-positive cells. The recombinant MAGE-1 protein was then used for the generation of mouse monoclonal and rabbit polyclonal antibodies. One IgG1 monoclonal antibody, MA454, as well as rabbit polyclonal antisera recognized a 46-kDa protein in extracts of MAGE-1 mRNA-positive melanoma cell lines. The antibodies showed no apparent cross-reactivity with products of the closely related MAGE-2 and MAGE-3 genes. Serological typing of normal and tumor cell lysates was in full agreement with mRNA analysis, showing expression of MAGE-1 protein in MAGE-1 mRNA-positive testis and a subset of melanomas but not in MAGE-1 mRNA-negative normal or tumor tissues. Transfection of the MAGE-1 gene into a MAGE-1 mRNA-negative melanoma cell line resulted in the expression of the 46-kDa protein, confirming the identity of this protein as the MAGE-1 gene product.