Belong to the cancer testis antigen (CTA) family and consist of highly homologous proteins (GAGE 1, GAGE2A-E, GAGE10, GAGE12B-J, and GAGE13).
GAGE proteins are encoded by tandem repeats on chromosome X (p11.2–p11.4 region). GAGE 1 is unique among the GAGE proteins because of an exclusive C-terminal encoded by an exon that is interrupted in the other GAGE genes. The remaining GAGE members are composed of five exons encoding 116–117 amino acids with 98 % identity, while GAGE1 consist of 138 amino acids. The molecular size of GAGE proteins is 26–29 kDa.
In contrast to other CTAs, the expression of which in adult normal tissues is restricted to germ cells of testis, GAGE is also expressed in a subset of oocytes of resting primordial follicles and in maturing oocytes of ovaries. In the testicular seminiferous tubule, GAGE expression is restricted to the spermatogonia and, to a lesser degree, the primary spermatocytes. GAGE gene transcripts...