Author(s): Otting N, Heijmans CM, Noort RC, de Groot NG, Doxiadis GG,
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Abstract The highly polymorphic gene products of the classical MHC class I genes in humans (HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-C) play a critical role in the immune defense against intracellular infections. Because non-human primates are important models for AIDS vaccine research, rhesus monkeys from a thoroughly pedigreed and serotyped colony were subjected to full-length cDNA analysis of MHC class I gene transcripts. Rhesus macaques express multiple dominant Mamu-A and Mamu-B transcripts (majors) per chromosome, which are characterized by high expression levels. The presence of additional cDNAs with low levels of expression (minors) suggests evidence for transcriptional control of MHC class I genes. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses illustrate that most of the Mamu-A and Mamu-B loci/lineages identified display no or only limited levels of allelic polymorphism. Thus, MHC class I diversity in rhesus macaques is typified by the existence of an unmatched high number of Mamu-A and Mamu-B region configurations that exhibit polymorphism with regard to the number and combination of transcribed loci present per chromosome.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry