HLA-associated susceptibility to childhood B-cell precursor ALL: Definition and role of HLA-DPB1 supertypes

Graham Taylor, G. M. Taylor, A. Hussain, T. J. Lightfoot, J. M. Birch, T. O B Eden, M. F. Greaves

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    Childhood B-cell precursor (BCP) ALL is thought to be caused by a delayed immune response to an unidentified postnatal infection. An association between BCP ALL and HLA class II (DR, DQ, DP) alleles could provide further clues to the identity of the infection, since HLA molecules exhibit allotype-restricted binding of infection-derived antigenic peptides. We clustered >30 HLA-DPB1 alleles into six predicted peptide-binding supertypes (DP1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8), based on amino acid di-morphisms at positions 11 (G/L), 69 (E/K), and 84 (G/D) of the DPβ1 domain. We found that the DPβ11-69-84 supertype GEG (DP2), was 70% more frequent in BCP ALL (n=687; P6 years, than in controls. Only one of 21 possible DPB1 supergenotypes, GEG/GKG (DP2/DP4) was significantly more frequent in BCP ALL (P=0.00004) than controls. These results suggest that susceptibility to BCP ALL is associated with the DP2 supertype, which is predicted to bind peptides with positively charged, nonpolar aromatic residues at the P4 position, and hydrophobic residues at the P1 and P6 positions. Studies of peptide binding by DP2 alleles could help to identify infection(s) carrying these peptides. © 2008 Cancer Research UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1125-1131
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2008


    • Allele frequency
    • BCP ALL
    • Case-control comparison
    • HLA-DPB1
    • Peptide-binding pockets
    • Supertypes


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