Human complement factor H

Tissue specificity in the expression of three different mRNA species


Correspondence to W. Schwaeble, I. Medizinische Klinik, Verfügungsgebäude für Forschung, Obere Zahlbacher Straße 63, W-6500 Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany


Using cDNA clones H-19 and H-46, we have shown previously that three different mRNA species (4.3 kb, 1.8 kb and 1.4 kb) for complement factor H are expressed constitutively in human liver. Here we report data suggesting that the expression of these different factor-H mRNA species is regulated by tissue-specific control mechanisms.

Total RNA and poly(A)-enriched RNA from various human tissues (heart, lung, temporal cortex, kidney, spleen, bone marrow and muscle) various cell lines (HepG2, HepG3, HepG4, Hep3B, H-4, Jurkat, Molt4, H-9, KHos24Os, A-431, U937, Mono Mac 6 and Raji) and from primary cultures of peripheral blood monocytes, fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were investigated for the expression of factor-H mRNA. In RNA preparations from extrahepatic tissue, factor-H mRNA was only detected in biopsies from the lung. Using 20 μg total RNA isolated from all 13 cell lines it was not possible to detect any factor-H mRNA, while mRNA for factor H was expressed in monocytes, HUVEC and fibroblasts.

When expressed in extrahepatic tissues, only the 4.3-kb and the 1.8-kb mRNA species were detected, while the 1.4-kb mRNA is expressed abundantly in liver. Interferon-γ did not induce the expression of factor-H mRNA in any of the cell lines tested. On the other hand, tumour necrosis factor-α induced the expression of the 4.3-kb mRNA species in U937 cells.

In HUVEC and fibroblasts the relative quantities of the 4.3-kb and the 1.8-kb mRNA species and the regulatory effects of interferon-γ, interleukin-1, dexamethasone and retinoic acid on their expression showed significant tissue specificity.