Molecular analysis of the genes for human class Ii antigens of the major histocompatibility complex

Long, E.O.; Gorski, J.; Rollini, P.; Wake, C.T.; Strubin, M.; Rabourdin-Combe, C.; Mach, B.

Human Immunology 8(1): 113-121


ISSN/ISBN: 0198-8859
PMID: 6414998
DOI: 10.1016/0198-8859(83)90089-7
Accession: 043671814

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Different cDNA clones have been isolated that encode each of the three chains of HLA-DR antigens: alpha, intermediate and beta, as well as another beta chain, most likely DC. Whereas the DR alpha and intermediate chains seem encoded by single genes, the DR and DC beta chains are most likely encoded by multiple genes; furthermore, their polymorphism can be readily detected by restriction analysis of cellular DNA. Several genomic DNA clones were isolated for the DR and DC beta chain genes and for the intermediate chain gene. The sum of all distinct cDNA clones and genomic DNA clones for HLA-DR beta chains, isolated from a heterozygous cell line, represent five genes. This implies the existence of at least three nonallelic DR beta chain genes in addition to the DC beta chain genes. The complete sequence of one of the DR beta chains is presented. A genomic DNA clone for a DR beta chain was transferred into mouse L cells and found to be expressed into RNA of the same size as DR beta mRNA. The finding, among the genes for class II antigens, of multiple genes for the beta chain of HLA-DR, distinct from those of other known subregions such as DC, emphasizes the importance of gene transfer experiments, where individual genes can be expressed and tested for their functional role in the immune response.