HLA-G protein expression is not induced during malignant transformation

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Abstract

Abstract:

To evaluate the biological relevance of HLA-G expression during tumoral transformation, we analyzed its expression in different malignant cells and immune effector cells infiltrating solid tumors. Our analysis of 33 tumor cell lines and 53 tumoral biopsies demonstrated that: i) six tumor cell lines display HLA-G transcription with differential alternative splicing patterns and only Jeg3 choriocarcinoma and MCF-7 breast adenocarcinoma cell lines express HLA-G translated products; and ii) HLA-G antigens are not expressed in malignantly transformed cells derived from lung (n=18), liver (n=5), colon (n=5), breast (n=10), kidney (n=5), ovary (n=5), and larynx (n=5) tissues ex vivo. The healthy tissues surrounding these tumor tissues do not express HLA-G molecules either. On the other hand, surprisingly, HLA-G products were detected in activated macrophages and dendritic cells localized in tumoral biopsies of 5 out of 18 different lung carcinomas. No HLA-G labelling was observed in resident mononuclear phagocytes of surrounding healthy tissues. Our observations clearly demonstrate that HLA-G is not a marker of malignant cells but appears as a gene expressed in tumor-associated macrophages and dendritic cells, preferentially in those recruited in lung carcinomas. Our findings suggest that specific environmental factors around lung tumors could be involved in the induction of HLA-G protein expression.

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