Characterization of monoclonal antibodies recognizing HLA-G or HLA-E: New tools to analyze the expression of nonclassical HLA class I molecules
Nonclassical major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I human leukocyte antigen E (HLA-E) and HLA-G molecules differ from classical ones by specific patterns of transcription, protein expression, and immunotolerant functions. The HLA-G molecule can be expressed as four membrane-bound (HLA-G1 to -G4) and three soluble (HLA-G5 to -G7) proteins upon alternative splicing of its primary transcript. In this study, we describe a new set of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) called MEM-G/01, -G/04, -G/09, -G/13, MEM-E/02, and -E/06 recognizing HLA-G or HLA-E. The pattern of reactivity of these mAbs were analyzed on transfected cells by flow cytometry, Western blotting, and immunochemistry. MEM-G/09 and -G/13 mAbs react exclusively with native HLA-G1 molecules, as the 87G mAb. MEM-G/01 recognizes (similar to the 4H84 mAb) the denatured HLA-G heavy chain of all isoforms, whereas MEM-G/04 recognizes selectively denatured HLA-G1, -G2, and -G5 isoforms. MEM-E/02 and -E/06 mAbs bind the denatured and cell surface HLA-E molecules, respectively. These mAbs were then used to analyze the expression of HLA-G and HLA-E on freshly isolated cytotrophoblast cells, on the JEG-3 placental tumor cell line, and on cryopreserved and paraffin-embedded serial sections of trophoblast tissue. These new mAbs represent valuable tools to study the expression of HLA-G and HLA-E molecules in cells and tissues under normal and pathologic conditions.