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Tissue Antigens. 2007 Dec;70(6):455-63. Epub 2007 Sep 27.

HLA class I (A, B, C) and class II (DRB1, DQA1, DQB1, DPB1) alleles and haplotypes in the Han from southern China.

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  • 1Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA 94609, USA.


In this study, polymerase chain reaction-sequence-specific oligonucleotide prode (SSOP) typing results for the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I (A, B, and C) and class II (DRB1, DQA1, DQB1, and DPB1) loci in 264 individuals of the Han ethnic group from the Canton region of southern China are presented. The data are examined at the allele, genotype, and haplotype level. Common alleles at each of the loci are in keeping with those observed in similar populations, while the high-resolution typing methods used give additional details about allele frequency distributions not shown in previous studies. Twenty distinct alleles are seen at HLA-A in this population. The locus is dominated by the A*1101 allele, which is found here at a frequency of 0.266. The next three most common alleles, A*2402, A*3303, and A*0203, are each seen at frequencies of greater than 10%, and together, these four alleles account for roughly two-thirds of the total for HLA-A in this population. Fifty alleles are observed for HLA-B, 21 of which are singleton copies. The most common HLA-B alleles are B*4001 (f= 0.144), B*4601 (f= 0.119), B*5801 (f= 0.089), B*1301 (f= 0.068), B*1502 (f= 0.073), and B*3802 (f= 0.070). At the HLA-C locus, there are a total of 20 alleles. Four alleles (Cw*0702, Cw*0102, Cw*0801, and Cw*0304) are found at frequencies of greater than 10%, and together, these alleles comprise over 60% of the total. Overall, the class II loci are somewhat less diverse than class I. Twenty-eight distinct alleles are seen at DRB1, and the most common three, DRB1*0901, *1202, and *1501, are each seen at frequencies of greater than 10%. The DR4 lineage also shows extensive expansion in this population, with seven subtypes, representing one quarter of the diversity at this locus. Eight alleles are observed at DQA1; DQA1*0301 and 0102 are the most common alleles, with frequencies over 20%. The DQB1 locus is dominated by four alleles of the 03 lineage, which make up nearly half of the total. The two most common DQB1 alleles in this population are DQB1*0301 (f= 0.242) and DQB1*0303 (f= 0.15). Eighteen alleles are observed at DPB1; DPB1*0501 is the most common allele, with a frequency of 37%. The class I allele frequency distributions, expressed in terms of Watterson's (homozygosity) F-statistic, are all within expectations under neutrality, while there is evidence for balancing selection at DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1. Departures from Hardy-Weinberg expectations are observed for HLA-C and DRB1 in this population. Strong individual haplotypic associations are seen for all pairs of loci, and many of these occur at frequencies greater than 5%. In the class I region, several examples of HLA-B and -C loci in complete or near complete linkage disequilibrium (LD) are present, and the two most common, B*4601-Cw*0102 and B*5801-Cw*0302 account for more than 20% of the B-C haplotypes. Similarly, at class II, nearly all of the most common DR-DQ haplotypes are in nearly complete LD. The most common DRB1-DQB1 haplotypes are DRB1*0901-DQB1*0303 (f= 0.144) and DRB1*1202-DQB1*0301 (f= 0.131). The most common four locus class I and class II combined haplotypes are A*3303-B*5801-DRB1*0301-DPB1*0401 (f= 0.028) and A*0207-B*4601-DRB1*0901-DPB1*0501 (f= 0.026). The presentation of complete DNA typing for the class I loci and haplotype analysis in a large sample such as this can provide insights into the population history of the region and give useful data for HLA matching in transplantation and disease association studies in the Chinese population.

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