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          Institute: MPI für molekulare Genetik     Collection: Sequencing Group     Display Documents

ID: 460178.0, MPI für molekulare Genetik / Sequencing Group
A small, variable, and irregular killer cell Ig-like receptor locus accompanies the absence of MHC-C and MHC-G in gibbons
Authors:Abi-Rached, Laurent; Kuhl, Heiner; Roos, Christian; ten Hallers, Boudewijn; Zhu, Baoli; Carbone, Lucia; de Jong, Pieter J.; Mootnick, Alan R.; Knaust, Florian; Reinhardt, Richard; Parham, Peter; Walter, Lutz
Research Context:This study was supported by Pakt für Forschung und Innovation of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft Biodiversität der Primaten: Erfassung, Ursachen und Erhalt (to C.R. and L.W.), by Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie (Germany)–Nationales Genomforschungsnetz Grant 01GR0414 (to R.R.), and by National Institutes of Health Grant AI024258 (to P.P.)
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2010-02-01
Title of Journal:Journal of Immunology
Journal Abbrev.:J Immunol
Issue / Number:3
Start Page:1379
End Page:1391
Copyright:2010 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Review Status:not specified
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:The killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs) of NK cells recognize MHC class I ligands and function in placental reproduction and immune defense against pathogens. During the evolution of monkeys, great apes, and humans, an ancestral KIR3DL gene expanded to become a diverse and rapidly evolving gene family of four KIR lineages. Characterizing the KIR locus are three framework regions, defining two intervals of variable gene content. By analysis of four KIR haplotypes from two species of gibbon, we find that the smaller apes do not conform to these rules. Although diverse and irregular in structure, the gibbon haplotypes are unusually small, containing only two to five functional genes. Comparison with the predicted ancestral hominoid KIR haplotype indicates that modern gibbon KIR haplotypes were formed by a series of deletion events, which created new hybrid genes as well as eliminating ancestral genes. Of the three framework regions, only KIR3DL3 (lineage V), defining the 5' end of the KIR locus, is present and intact on all gibbon KIR haplotypes. KIR2DL4 (lineage I) defining the central framework region has been a major target for elimination or inactivation, correlating with the absence of its putative ligand, MHC-G, in gibbons. Similarly, the MHC-C–driven expansion of lineage III KIR genes in great apes has not occurred in gibbons because they lack MHC-C. Our results indicate that the selective forces shaping the size and organization of the gibbon KIR locus differed from those acting upon the KIR of other hominoid species.
Comment of the Author/Creator:Address correspondence and reprint requests to
Dr. Peter Parham, 299 Campus Drive West, Fairchild Building, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. E-mail address:
The online version of this article contains supplemental material.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Richard Reinhardt
Affiliations:MPI für molekulare Genetik
External Affiliations:Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Primate Genetics Laboratory and §Gene Bank of Primates, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany
Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA 94609, USA
Gibbon Conservation Center, Santa Clarita, CA 91380, USA
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