A Comprehensive Guide to the MAGE Family of Ubiquitin Ligases.
The cancer testis antigen, melanoma-associated antigen A9 (MAGE-A9), is expressed in many kinds of different human cancers, and is an important target for immunotherapy. However, the clinicopathologic significance of MAGE-A9 in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is unknown. In this study, real-time PCR (12 carcinomas of high FIGO stage, 12 carcinomas of low FIGO stage, and 20 normal ovary or fallopian tube tissues) and immunohistochemistry by tissue microarrays (128 carcinomas and 112 normal ovary or fallopian tube tissues, benign or borderline ovarian tumor tissues) were performed to characterize expression of MAGE-A9 in EOC. We found that significantly higher MAGE-A9 mRNA expression in EOC tumors than that in normal ovary or fallopian tube tissues (all P < 0.05). Protein expression of MAGE-A9 was significantly associated with FIGO stage, high histological grade, level of CA-125 and metastasis. Consistent with the associated poor clinicopathologic features, patients with MAGE-A9(H (high-expressing)) tumors had a worse overall survival as compared to patients with MAGE-A9(L (low or none-expressing)) tumors. Further studies revealed that MAGE-A9 overexpression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (OS). Multivariate analysis showed that patients with MAGE-A9 overexpressing tumors had extremely poor OS. These findings indicate that MAGE-A9 expression may be helpful in predicting EOC prognosis.