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Published July 1, 1989 | Published
Journal Article Open

Embryonal Carcinoma Cells Express Qa and Tla Class I Genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex


The murine major histocompatibility complex encodes H-2K and H-2D transplantation antigens and other class I-like proteins called Qa and Tla molecules; the functions of the Qa/Tla molecules are not known. That they may participate in embryonic cell--cell interactions and/or play a role in immune responses against tumors has been speculated. We have studied two murine embryonal carcinoma tumors, 402AX and PCC4, that are rejected in vivo immunologically, although they do not express H-2K or H-2D antigens. Transplantation studies with these cells suggest that rejection is mediated by class-I-like major histocompatibility complex antigens. As a first step in evaluating Qa/Tla function(s), we have characterized expression of class I-like genes and proteins in 402AX and PCC4 cells. Northern (RNA) blot hybridizations, polymerase chain reaction studies, and cDNA cloning experiments demonstrate that EC lines transcribe genes allelic to the Tla region gene "37", Qa-2 region gene "Q7", and another, previously uncharacterized, class I-like gene. Immunoprecipitation studies show that the embryonal carcinoma tumor cells contain low levels of β2-microglobulin expressed in association with non-H-2K, non-H-2D class I-like proteins.

Additional Information

© 1989 by the National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Leroy Hood, March 23, 1989. We thank Dr. G. Cole for preparing the H-2Db-expresssing 402AX transfectants, Dr. H. Cheroutre for advice on preparing the cDNA libraries, Dr. M. Rodgers for the β2m antiserum, and Dr. E. Holthuizen for the pH2IIa·EH probe. These studies were supported by American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award 251 to S.O.-R. and National Institutes of Health Grants RO1CA34368 and AI1924. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.

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