Sixteen HLA class I clones have been isolated from a SV40-transformed human fibroblast line (GM637) cDNA library. The clones, characterized by hybridization to ABC locus-specific probes and sequence analysis, correspond to transcripts from four different class I genes: A2, A10, Cw4, and Cw6 (or Cw7), as implied by cell typing. Only the A2 sequence was known. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence of the new alleles are reported here, and their structural features are discussed. Two independent cDNAs of A2 specificity display an unusual polyadenylation site located 100 by upstream from the canonical one. Moreover, two cDNAs pertaining to the same C allele display two alternative mechanisms of splicing, which cause either presence or absence in mature transcripts of the transmembrane exon 5 sequence. Transcripts missing this region are predicted to synthesize a nonmembrane-bound, secreted antigen. A soluble protein, specifically reacting with class I-specific HLA antibodies, is found in the supernatant of the GM637 cells. The significance of HLA class I transcripts generated by differential processing is discussed.
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