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Background

The HNA-3a antigen is an important antibody target in the pathophysiology of transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). It is encoded by the choline transporter-like protein 2 (CTL2) gene, which exists in the two transcript variants TV1 and TV2, differing in the upstream promoter and coding region. Only TV1 has been demonstrated to enable choline transport across the cell membrane.

Study Design and Methods

The aim of this study was to determine the CTL2 transcript pattern in human peripheral blood cells and tissues and its capacity to bind HNA-3a antibodies. RNA was isolated from human whole blood, isolated neutrophils, mononuclear blood cells, leukoreduced platelets, human lung, liver, and colon. After reverse transcription, the single-stranded cDNA was amplified using primer combinations specific for the respective transcript. Plasmids containing the entire CTL2 coding cDNA of the transcript variant TV1 or TV2 served as controls. HEK293T cells expressing both variants were used to determine the binding of HNA-3a antibodies.

Results

The shorter TV2 transcript was demonstrated in each RNA sample derived from human peripheral blood tested so far, as well as in human lung and liver, whereas the longer TV1 transcript was only detected in human lung and colon. TV1 and TV2 had the same binding capacity to HNA-3a antibodies.

Conclusion

The expression of TV1 and TV2 is tissue and cell specific, with peripheral blood cells expressing only TV2. This does not affect binding of HNA-3a antibodies. Whether the unequal expression might be relevant in the pathogenesis of TRALI remains to be investigated.