Polymorphisms of the equine major histocompatibility complex class II DRA locus.

JJ Brown, W Thomson, P Clegg, SS Eyre, LJ Kennedy, J Matthews, S Carter, WER. Ollier

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    The full extent of the polymorphism of ELA-DRA in Equidae is not yet known. Given the apparent differences in DRA polymorphisms between Equidae and other species, the aims of this study were to more fully characterize ELA-DRA, determine the extent of gene polymorphism and establish the allele-frequency distribution. An allele reference panel for the second exon of ELA-DRA was established by sequence-based typing of 69 equine DNA samples consisting of various breeds of domestic horse (Equus caballus), together with donkeys (Equus asinus), Grant's zebras (Equus boehmi) and one onager (Equus hemionus). Five of the six previously reported alleles detected using single-strand conformation polymorphism were found: ELA-DRA*0101, ELA-DRA*0201, ELA-DRA*0301, ELA-DRA*0501 (Albright-Fraser DG et al. Polymorphism of DRA among equids. Immunogenetics 1996: 43: 315-7) and ELA-DRA*0601 (GenBank accession number AF5419361). In addition to the previously reported alleles, five novel ELA-DRA alleles were detected within the ELA-DRA allele reference panel. One of these was identified in E. caballus (ELA-DRA*JBH11), one in E. boehmi and E. hemionus (ELA-DRA*JBZ185) and three in E. asinus (ELA-DRA*JBD3, ELA-DRA*JBD17 and ELA-DRA*JBH45). A total of 565 equine DNA samples were screened using reference-strand-mediated conformation analysis, a double-stranded conformation-based mutation detection system that can be used to type existing ELA-DRA alleles and identify new variants. Based on our findings, at least 11 ELA-DRA alleles are now known to exist, and this level of polymorphism at the DRA locus appears to be unique to the genus Equus. Both the previously reported alleles and the new alleles displayed a species-specific distribution.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTissue Antigens
    Volume64( 2)
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


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