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Evolution of major histocompatibility complex class I genes in Cetartiodactyls



Evolution of major histocompatibility complex class I genes in Cetartiodactyls



Immunogenetics 55(4): 193-202



Previous studies of cattle MHC have suggested the presence of at least four classical class I loci. Analysis of haplotypes showed that any combination of one, two or three genes may be expressed, although no gene is expressed consistently. The aim of this study was to examine the evolutionary relationships among these genes and to study their phylogenetic history in Cetartiodactyl species, including cattle and their close relatives. A secondary aim was to determine whether recombination had occurred between any of the genes. MHC class I data sets were generated from published sequences or by polymerase chain reaction from cDNA. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that MHC class I sequences from Cetartiodactyl species closely related to cattle were distributed among the main cattle gene "groups", while those from more distantly related species were either scattered (sheep, deer) or clustered in a species-specific manner (sitatunga, giraffe). A comparison between gene and species trees showed a poor match, indicating that divergence of the MHC sequences had occurred independently from that of the hosts from which they were obtained. We also found two clear instances of interlocus recombination among the cattle MHC sequences. Finally, positive natural selection was documented at positions throughout the alpha 1 and 2 domains, primarily on those amino acids directly involved in peptide binding, although two positions in the alpha 3 domain, a region generally conserved in other species, were also shown to be undergoing adaptive evolution.

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Accession: 003762631

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12756505

DOI: 10.1007/s00251-003-0560-2


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