Multi-SNP Analysis of MHC Region: Remarkable Conservation of HLA-A1-B8-DR3 Haplotype

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Abstract

Technology has become available to cost-effectively analyze thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We recently confirmed by genotyping a small series of class I alleles and microsatellite markers that the extended haplotype HLA-A1-B8-DR3 (8.1 AH) at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a common and conserved haplotype. To further evaluate the region of conservation of the DR3 haplotypes, we genotyped 31 8.1 AHs and 29 other DR3 haplotypes with a panel of 656 SNPs spanning 4.8 Mb in the MHC region. This multi-SNP evaluation revealed a 2.9-Mb region that was essentially invariable for all 31 8.1 AHs. The 31 8.1 AHs were >99.9% identical for 384 consecutive SNPs of the 656 SNPs analyzed. Future association studies of MHC-linked susceptibility to type 1 diabetes will need to account for the extensive conservation of the 8.1 AH, since individuals who carry this haplotype provide no information about the differential effects of the alleles that are present on this haplotype.

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