Background: SERPINA1 is the gene for alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT), an acute phase protein with anti-protease and immunoregulatory activities. Mutations in SERPINA1 gene cause AAT deficiency and predispose individuals to early-onset emphysema and liver diseases. Expression of the SERPINA1 gene is regulated by different promoters and alternative splicing events among non-coding exons 1A, 1B and 1C. Methods: We have developed three quantitative PCR (QT-PCR) assays (1A, 1B and 1C). These assays were applied for the analysis of SERPINA1 alternative transcripts in: (1) 16 human tissues and (2) peripheral blood leukocytes from 33 subjects with AAT mutations and 7 controls. Results: Tissue-specific expression was found for the SERPINA1 transcripts. The 1A transcripts were mainly expressed in leukocytes and lung tissue while those detected with the 1B assay were highly restricted to leukocytes. Only 1B transcripts significantly correlated with serum AAT levels. The 1C transcripts were specifically found in lung, liver, kidney and pancreas. Furthermore, the expression of transcripts was related to AAT genotypes. While deficient variants of AAT had no pronounced effect on the transcript expression, null alleles were associated with significant reduction of different transcripts. Conclusions: The possibility to discriminate between SERPINA1 alternative splicing products will help us to understand better the regulation of SERPINA1 gene and its association with SERPINA1 mutations-related diseases.
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Alternative splicing
- Quantitative PCR
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)