Expression of messenger RNAs for complement inhibitors in human tissues and tumors
The mRNAs coding for three complement inhibitors produced by human cells, complement cytolysis inhibitor (CLI), decay-accelerating factor (DAF), and CD59, are characteristically distributed among normal tissues. High levels of CLI mRNA are expressed in tissues that express low levels of DAF mRNA and vice versa. Therefore, the expression of these mRNAs shows a mutually exclusive relationship, with the possible exception of the lung, where all these mRNAs are expressed. In contrast, CD59 mRNA is
... rast, CD59 mRNA is rather uniformly expressed in all tumor cell lines examined, whereas the mRNA for either of the two other complement inhibitors is overexpressed in some specific tumor cells, e.g., HeLa cells overexpress DAF mRNA, while A172 cells overexpress CLI mRNA. These two cell lines were resistant to antibody-dependent complement cytotoxicity. Expression of CLI and DAF mRNA was induced in cells treated with the antitumor drug N-(chloroetyl)-N'-cyclohexyl-N-nitrosourea; these cells became resistant to complement cytotoxicity. A similar pattern of expression was detected in tumor samples obtained during surgery, with a relatively uniform expression of CD59 mRNA and occasional overexpression of CLI or DAF mRNA. These findings suggest that overexpression of complement inhibitors mRNA and of the corresponding proteins may contribute to tumor cell resistance to complement-mediated cytotoxicity.