Determination of the Expression Patterns of Bovine Non-Classical Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Class I Proteins

Parveen Parasar, Utah State University


My dissertation hypothesis is that bovine trophoblast cells express cell-surface and secreted non-classical major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-Ib) proteins which inhibit NK cells and other leukocytes by binding to inhibitory receptors (e.g., LILRB1, LILRB2, KIR2DL4, and/or CD94/NKG2A). Extremely polymorphic and ubiquitously expressed classical MHC class I (MHC-Ia) proteins, which present foreign antigenic peptides to CD8+ T lymphocytes, are involved in acceptance or rejection of tissue grafts. Non-classical MHC class I (MHC-Ib) glycoproteins, such as Human Leukocyte Antigen-G (HLA-G) and murine Qa-2, are important modulators of the maternal immune system during pregnancy. MHC-Ib proteins are: (a) oligomorphic or monomorphic, (b) expressed in specific tissues under specific condtions, and (c) produced as surface and/or soluble isoforms due to alternative splicing. Third trimester-bovine trophoblast cells express both MHC-Ia and MHC-Ib proteins. The MHC-Ib proteins expressed by trophoblast cells during the third trimester of pregnancy are encoded by four bovine leukocyte antigen (BoLA) loci: BoLA-NC1, BoLA-NC2, BoLA-NC3, and BoLA-NC4.

Two MHC-Ia (N*01701 and N*01802) and three MHC-Ib (NC1*00501, NC3*00101 and NC4*00201) proteins showed cell-surface expression in transfection studies performed in murine P815 and human K562 cells. Two additional isoforms, NC1*00401 and NC2*00102, were not detected on the surface of these cells. Nevertheless, both class Ia proteins, N*01701 and N*01802, and five class Ib proteins, NC1*00401, NC1*00501, NC2*00102, NC3*00101, and NC4*00201, were detected in crude cell lysates on Western blots. Precipitation of proteins from culture supernatants showed that cell-surface MHC-Ia (N*01701 and N*01802) and MHC-Ib proteins (NC1*00501, NC3*00101, and NC4*00201) are shed from the surface of these cells into the media. The mechanism of shedding of these proteins is, however, not known. Monoclonal antibodies W6/32, IL-A88, H1A, H6A, H11A, H58A, and PT-85A recognized surface MHC-I isoforms with varying affinity. We were able to develop a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using either H1A or IL-A88 antibody as the capture antibody and the W6/32 antibody for detection. We produced monoclonal antibodies against cattle NC1*00501 and NC3*00101 proteins. One monoclonal antibody generated against BoLA-NC3*00101 was highly specific. Unfortunately, due to failure to clone the NC3*00101- hybridoma, we no longer have an infinite source of this monoclonal antibody for NC3*00101. We eluted peptides from NC3*00101-transfected MHC-null K562 cells and identified peptides using liquid chromatography-mass spectrum (LC-MS) analysis. Analysis of peptide binding data using the SAS Proc mixed statistical program, suggested that the peptide EVTNQLVVL is a potential peptide ligand, which can be used to make tetramers for enumeration of antigen-specific leukocytes.