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Open AccessArticle

HLA-G Expression in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) Is Related to Unique Methylation Pattern in the Proximal Promoter as well as Gene Body DNA

1
Regenerative Medicine Research Group, Institute of Cellular & System Medicine, National Health Research Institutes (NHRI), Zhunan 350, Taiwan
2
Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, Cathay General Hospital Shiji, Taipei 221, Taiwan
3
Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital & College of Medicine, Taipei 100, Taiwan
4
Institute of Forensic Medicine, College of Medicine, NTU, Taipei 100, Taiwan
5
National Institute of Cancer Research, NHRI, Zhunan 350, Taiwan
6
National Institute of Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology, NHRI, Zhunan 350, Taiwan
7
Graduate Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 114, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 5075; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21145075
Received: 11 June 2020 / Revised: 7 July 2020 / Accepted: 15 July 2020 / Published: 18 July 2020
Multipotent human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) harbor clinically relevant immunomodulation, and HLA-G, a non-classical MHC class I molecule with highly restricted tissue expression, is one important molecule involved in these processes. Understanding of the natural regulatory mechanisms involved in expression of this elusive molecule has been difficult, with near exclusive reliance on cancer cell lines. We therefore studied the transcriptional control of HLA-G in primary isolated human bone marrow- (BM), human embryonic stem cell-derived (hE-), as well as placenta-derived MSCs (P-MSCs), and found that all 3 types of MSCs express 3 of the 7 HLA-G isoforms at the gene level; however, fibroblasts did not express HLA-G. Protein validation using BM- and P-MSCs demonstrated expression of 2 isoforms including a larger HLA-G-like protein. Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) stimulation upregulated both gene and protein expression in MSCs but not the constitutively expressing JEG-3 cell line. Most interestingly in human MSCs and placental tissue, hypomethylation of CpG islands not only occurs on the HLA-G proximal promoter but also on the gene body as well, a pattern not seen in either of the 2 commonly used choriocarcinoma cell lines which may contribute to the unique HLA-G expression patterns and IFN-γ-responsiveness in MSCs. Our study implicates the importance of using normal cells and tissues for physiologic understanding of tissue-specific transcriptional regulation, and highlight the utility of human MSCs in unraveling the transcriptional regulation of HLA-G for better therapeutic application. View Full-Text
Keywords: mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); human; HLA-G; embryonic stem cells (ESCs); bone marrow (BM); placenta; interferon-γ (IFN-γ); DNA methylation; promoter; gene body mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); human; HLA-G; embryonic stem cells (ESCs); bone marrow (BM); placenta; interferon-γ (IFN-γ); DNA methylation; promoter; gene body
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Yen, B.L.; Hwa, H.-L.; Hsu, P.-J.; Chen, P.-M.; Wang, L.-T.; Jiang, S.-S.; Liu, K.-J.; Sytwu, H.-K.; Yen, M.-L. HLA-G Expression in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) Is Related to Unique Methylation Pattern in the Proximal Promoter as well as Gene Body DNA. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5075.

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