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Tissue Antigens. 1998 Aug;52(2):114-23.

High frequency of altered HLA class I phenotypes in invasive colorectal carcinomas.

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Departamento de Análisis Clínicos, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain.


We analyzed the expression of HLA class I antigens in 78 tumor tissue samples obtained from patients diagnosed as having colorectal carcinomas. A broad panel of mAbs defining HLA monomorphic, locus-specific and allele-specific determinants was used. In addition, an antibody defining HLA-C locus-specific determinant (L31) was also tested. Previous reports on these tumors indicated HLA class I losses of 30 to 40%. At least 73% of the patients in the present study had a detectable HLA class I alteration. These altered HLA phenotypes were classified as total HLA loss (18%) (phenotype I); HLA-A locus-specific loss (9%) (phenotype IIIa); HLA-B locus-specific loss (8%) (phenotype IIIb); HLA-A and B locus losses (2%) and HLA allelic losses (36%) (phenotype IV). We found no HLA-C locus losses. Autologous peripheral blood lymphocyte HLA class I typing was always necessary to define phenotype IV. We also studied the CD3 zeta chain in tumor tissues to correlate possible changes in the CD3 signal transduction pathway with HLA alterations. The CD3 ratio was frequently altered, but this alteration could not be correlated with tumor HLA phenotypes. The high frequency of HLA class I losses in colorectal carcinomas suggests that this finding is a widespread phenomenon and may be required to escape T-cell recognition. It remains to be determined whether HLA expression is "normal" in the rest of the 27% of our patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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