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I have a friend who is diagnosed with cancer. I understand his pain and disappoint, but I do not understand he still wants to know more about that condition. Now he drives me crazy because he wants to know what Mage 3 is. I guess he read it in doctor’s report, and his doctor did not find it necessary to explain this to him. Can you tell me anything about Mage 3, what it does mean?

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Human melanoma cell line expresses several antigens, which are recognized by autologous cytolytic T lymphocyte clones. Antigen MZ2-D, which is present on the tumor, is encoded by another member of the MAGE gene family named MAGE-3. Like MAGE-1, MAGE-3 is composed of three exons and the large open reading frame is entirely located in the third exon of Mage 3. Sequence of Mage 3 shows 73% identity with MAGE-1. The antigenic peptide of MZ2-D is a nonapeptide that is encoded by the sequence of MAGE-3 that is homologous to the MAGE-1 sequence. Competition experiments using single Ala-substituted peptides indicated that amino acid residues Asp in position three. Beside this, it is needed to have and Tyr in position 9, were it is essential for binding of the MAGE-1 peptide to HLA-A1. Gene MAGE-3 is expressed in many tumors of several types, such as melanoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. It is also found in lung carcinoma and breast carcinoma, but not in normal tissues except for testes. Mage 3 is expressed in a larger proportion of melanoma samples than MAGE-1. MAGE-3 encoded antigens may therefore have a wide applicability for specific immunotherapy of melanoma patients; I guess his doctor knows it.
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