MICA-STR, HLA-B haplotypic diversity and linkage disequilibrium in the Hunan Han population of southern China

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Abstract

Summary

Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I chain-related gene A (MICA) is located 46 kb centromeric to HLA-B and encodes a stress-inducible protein. MICA allelic variation is thought to be associated with disease susceptibility and immune response to transplants. This study was aimed to investigate the haplotypic diversity and linkage disequilibrium between human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B and (GCT)n short tandem repeat in exon 5 of MICA gene (MICA-STR) in a southern Chinese Han population. Fifty-eight randomly selected nuclear families with 183 members including 85 unrelated parental samples were collected in Hunan province, southern China. HLA-B generic typing was performed by polymerase chain reaction–sequence-specific priming (PCR–SSP), and samples showing novel HLA-B-MICA-STR linkage were further typed for HLA-B allelic variation by high-resolution PCR–SSP. MICA-STR allelic variation and MICA gene deletion (MICA*Del) were detected by fluorescent PCR–size sequencing and PCR–SSP. Haplotype was determined through family segregation analysis. Statistical analysis was applied to the data of the 85 unrelated parental samples. Nineteen HLA-B specificities and seven MICA-STR allelic variants were observed in 85 unrelated parental samples, the most predominant of which were HLA-B*46, -B60, -B*13, and -B*15, and MICA*A5, MICA*A5.1 and MICA*A4, respectively. Genotype distributions of HLA-B, MICA-STR loci were consistent with Hardy–Weinberg proportions. The HLA-B-MICA-STR haplotypic phases of all 85 unrelated parental samples were unambiguously assigned, which contained 30 kinds of HLA-B, MICA-STR haplotypic combinations, nine of them have not been reported in the literature. Significant positive linkage disequilibria between certain HLA-B and MICA-STR alleles, including HLA-B*13 and MICA*A4, HLA-B*38 and MICA*A9, HLA-B*58 and MICA*A9, HLA-B*46 and MICA*A5, HLA-B*51 and MICA*A6, HLA-B*52 and MICA*A6, and HLA-B60 and MICA*A5.1, were observed. HLA-B*48 was linked to MICA*A5, MICA*A5.1 and MICA*Del. HLA-B*5801-MICA*A10 linkage was found in a family. Our data indicated a high degree of haplotypic diversity and strong linkage disequilibrium between MICA-STR and HLA-B in a southern Chinese Han population, the data will inform future studies on anthropology, donor–recipient HLA matching in clinical transplantation and HLA-linked disease association.

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