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PLoS One. 2008 Jul 16;3(7):e2674. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002674.

Sequences, annotation and single nucleotide polymorphism of the major histocompatibility complex in the domestic cat.

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  • 1Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, Maryland, United States of America.


Two sequences of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) regions in the domestic cat, 2.976 and 0.362 Mbps, which were separated by an ancient chromosome break (55-80 MYA) and followed by a chromosomal inversion were annotated in detail. Gene annotation of this MHC was completed and identified 183 possible coding regions, 147 human homologues, possible functional genes and 36 pseudo/unidentified genes) by GENSCAN and BLASTN, BLASTP RepeatMasker programs. The first region spans 2.976 Mbp sequence, which encodes six classical class II antigens (three DRA and three DRB antigens) lacking the functional DP, DQ regions, nine antigen processing molecules (DOA/DOB, DMA/DMB, TAPASIN, and LMP2/LMP7,TAP1/TAP2), 52 class III genes, nineteen class I genes/gene fragments (FLAI-A to FLAI-S). Three class I genes (FLAI-H, I-K, I-E) may encode functional classical class I antigens based on deduced amino acid sequence and promoter structure. The second region spans 0.362 Mbp sequence encoding no class I genes and 18 cross-species conserved genes, excluding class I, II and their functionally related/associated genes, namely framework genes, including three olfactory receptor genes. One previously identified feline endogenous retrovirus, a baboon retrovirus derived sequence (ECE1) and two new endogenous retrovirus sequences, similar to brown bat endogenous retrovirus (FERVmlu1, FERVmlu2) were found within a 140 Kbp interval in the middle of class I region. MHC SNPs were examined based on comparisons of this BAC sequence and MHC homozygous 1.9x WGS sequences and found that 11,654 SNPs in 2.84 Mbp (0.00411 SNP per bp), which is 2.4 times higher rate than average heterozygous region in the WGS (0.0017 SNP per bp genome), and slightly higher than the SNP rate observed in human MHC (0.00337 SNP per bp).

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