About MAGE / Melanoma Antigen Family A:
Mammalian members in the MAGE gene family
The MAGE gene family contains mammalian members, which were initially described as being fully silent within typical adult tissues. The only exception to this rule were male germ cells and, in some instances, the placenta. On the flip side, these genes were expressed in different tumor varieties.
Non-mammalian members in MAGE-like genes
In addition to this, there are also MAGE-like genes that have been identified in species that are non-mammalian, for example, the Drosophila melanogaster or zebrafish. Despite the fact that there has not been the identification of any MAGE homologous sequences in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or Caenorhabditis elegans, there has been the presence of MAGE sequences located in a number of different vegetal species. An example of this is Arabidopsis thaliana.
There is only one homology region that all of the family members share, and this is a stretch of roughly two hundred amino acids. These amino acids are known as the MAGE conserved domain. You will tend to find this situated near to the C-terminus, despite the fact that it can also be located in a more of a central location in some types of proteins. The MAGE conserved domain tends to be present as a solo copy, yet it can be duplicated in some specific proteins.