An alternatively spliced form of HLA-G mRNA in human trophoblasts and evidence for the presence of HLA-G transcript in adult lymphocytes

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 May 10;91(10):4209-13. doi: 10.1073/pnas.91.10.4209.


The HLA-G monomorphic, nonclassical class I gene encodes the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule, which is the only MHC antigen expressed on cytotrophoblast cells of placenta. In this work, we have investigated expression of the HLA-G gene in fetal tissues and adult peripheral blood cells by using a sensitive hot-start reverse transcriptase PCR technique. PCR amplification with HLA-G primers specific for exon 3 has enabled us to demonstrate an alternatively spliced form of HLA-G mRNA present in fetal first trimester trophoblasts and lacking exon 4 (HLA-G.3-5). This low abundance transcript (approximately 1:200) in comparison to full-length mRNA may encode the protein that excludes the alpha 3 domain and by conformational changes may present a different ability to bind to peptides. Moreover, expression of the HLA-G transcript was found in adult peripheral lymphocytes and equally in B- and T-cell populations. These results are discussed in the context of the fetal-maternal relationship presented by HLA-G gene products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, MHC Class I*
  • Gestational Age
  • HLA Antigens / analysis
  • HLA Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • HLA-G Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / analysis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / immunology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Placenta / immunology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Restriction Mapping
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Trophoblasts / immunology*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-G Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I