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Eur J Immunol. 1994 Jan;24(1):176-80.

HLA-G: expression in human keratinocytes in vitro and in human skin in vivo.

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Institute für Anthropologie und Humangenetik, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München, FRG.


Classical, polymorphic major histocompatibility complex class I molecules are expressed on most nucleated cells. They present peptides at the cell surface and, thus, enable the immune system to scan peptides for their antigenicity. The function of the other, nonclassical class I molecules in man is controversial. HLA-G which has been shown by transfection experiments to be expressed at the cell surface, is only transcribed in placental tissue and in the fetal eye. Therefore, a role of HLA-G in the control of rejection of the allogeneic fetus has been discussed. We found that HLA-G expression is induced in keratinocytes by culture in vitro. Three different alternative splicing products of HLA-G can be detected: a full length transcript, an mRNA lacking exon 3 and a transcript devoid of exon 3 and 4. Reverse transcription followed by polymerase chain reaction also revealed the presence of HLA-G mRNA in vivo in biopsies of either diseased or healthy skin.

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