Cancer-testis antigens are expressed in the spermatogenic and cancer cells, as well as in human and mouse pluripotent stem cells. However, the role of cancer-testis antigens of Mage families in the regulation of cellular processes in embryonic cells is largely unknown. In the present study, a comparative quantitative analysis of the Mage-a and Mage-b gene expression was performed in mouse embryonic somatic cells (mouse embryonic fibroblasts, MEFs) long-term cultured in vitro or exposed to factors that inhibit and stimulate proliferation. The analysis revealed a low expression of cancer-testis antigens of Mage families and showed that the decrease in proliferative activity of MEFs at late passages was accompanied by slight up-regulation of the Mage-a gene expression and down-regulation of Mage-b gene expression. However, modulation of the MEK/ERK-signaling pathway activity and DNA demethylation with 5-azacytidine had no significant effects on the Mage-a and Mage-b gene expression in MEFs. The most essential changes in the expression levels of Mage-a and Mage-b genes were found only when MEFs were exposed to mitomycin C. In all experimental variants, the predominant cytoplasmic localization of Mage antigens was found in MEFs at the DNA synthesis stage, as well as at other stages of the cell cycle. Presumably, in actively proliferating mouse embryonic somatic cells, the antigens of Mage-a and Mage-b families can act as coactivators in the regulation of cell proliferation and other cellular processes.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 26, 2015
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