In this study, we have investigated the mRNA expression of the cancer germ-line genes MAGE, BAGE, GAGE, RAGE and the tumor-overexpressed gene PRAME by human myeloma cell lines and malignant plasma cells from patients with multiple myeloma (MM). By reverse transcription-PCR, we show that all myeloma cell lines (n = 16) express at least one of these genes, except RAGE-1 that was never expressed. We show that malignant plasma cells from the majority of MM patients (n = 21) expressed MAGE-1, MAGE-3 and PRAME. On the contrary, polyclonal reactive plasma cells did not express any of these genes. By flow cytometry, we show that mage-1 protein is expressed within myeloma cells and cell lines and that anti-mage-1.HLA-A1 cytotoxic T lymphocytes efficiently killed MAGE-1+HLA-A1+ MDN myeloma cells. Taken together, our data show that mage-1 and mage-3 could constitute specific targets for tumor immunotherapy of MM patients.
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