HLA class II antigens are highly polymorphic cell-surface proteins involved in initiation and regulation of the immune response. Allelic sequence variation primarily affects the structure of the first external domains of α and β component chains. Here we provide evidence for other types of allelic polymorphism for the genes encoding these chains. Sequences of two cDNA clones corresponding to HLA-DQB mRNAs from an HLA-homozygous cell line exhibit both alternative splicing and read-through of polyadenylylation. Furthermore, alternative splicing that deletes the transmembrane exon is associated with only a subset of HLA-DQB alleles, while the polyadenylylation-site read-through is found in a larger subset. This suggests that polymorphic cis-acting elements within the HLA-DQB gene control both processing steps. Proteins, presumably encoded by alternatively spliced mRNAs lacking transmembrane exons, are immunoprecipitated with a monomorphic monoclonal antibody directed against HLA-DQ. These proteins are found in supernatants of cultured cell lines for which secretion is predicted, but not in those of cell lines that do not contain alternatively spliced mRNAs.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas