Introduction: We encountered two afibrinogenemia patients with homozygous and compound heterozygous FGA mutation. Of interest, the patients' parents, who are heterozygous, had normal levels of plasma fibrinogen; thus, we hypothesized that liver FGA mRNA levels were higher than those of FGB and/or FGG mRNA.
Materials and methods: To test the hypothesis, we quantitated mRNA levels of a normal liver and a human hepatocyte cell line, HepG2 cells, and performed siRNA-mediated down-regulation of the fibrinogen gene in HepG2 cells. mRNA levels were determined using real-time quantitative RT- PCR for three normal livers and HepG2 cells. Down-regulation of FGA, FGB, or FGG in HepG2 cells was performed by the addition of siRNA corresponding to each of the three genes, and the mRNA levels determined in the cells and the secreted fibrinogen concentration in media.
Results: The mRNA level of normal human liver was FGA=FGB>FGG and the FGG mRNA level was about 2-fold lower than the others, that of HepG2 cells was FGA>FGG>FGB and FGA mRNA was approximately 2- or 4-fold higher than FGG mRNA and FGB mRNA. When FGA, FGB, or FGG mRNA expression levels were down-regulated by nearby 50%, fibrinogen concentrations in media were 78%, 49%, or 57% of the control, respectively.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that FGG mRNA levels limit fibrinogen expression in normal liver and HepG2 cells and that 50% reduction of FGA mRNA levels would not limit fibrinogen expression in normal liver and HepG2 cells.
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