Characterization of the major histocompatibility complex class I A alleles in cynomolgus macaques of Vietnamese origin

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Cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis, Mafa) have emerged as an important animal model for infectious disease and transplantation research. Extensive characterization of their major histocompatibility complex (MHC) polymorphism regions therefore becomes urgently required. In this study, we identified 41 MHC class I A nucleotide sequences in 34 unrelated cynomolgus macaques of Vietnamese origin farmed in Southern China, including eight novel Mafa-A sequences. We found two sequences with perfect identity and six sequences with close similarity to previously defined MHC class I alleles from other populations, especially from Indonesian-origin macaques. We also found three Vietnamese-origin cynomolgus macaque MHC class I sequences for which the predicted protein sequences identical throughout their B and F binding pockets to Mamu-A1*001:01 and Mamu-A3*13:03, respectively. This is important because Mamu-A1*001:01 and Mamu-A3*13:03 are associated with longer survival and lower set-point viral load in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus monkeys. These findings have implications for the evolutionary history of Vietnamese-origin cynomolgus macaque as well as for the use of this model in SIV/SHIV (a virus combining parts of the HIV and SIV genomes) research.

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