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Immunogenetics. 1999 Jun;49(6):479-90.

A divergent non-classical class I gene conserved in salmonids.

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Department of Structural Biology and Microbiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5126, USA.


Complementary DNA for two class I genes of the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, were characterized. MhcOnmy-UBA*01 is similar to Onmy-UAC32 and the classical major histocompatibility complex class I genes of other fish species, whereas Onmy-UAA*01 is divergent from all class I genes so far characterized. Onmy-UAA*01 is expressed at lower levels than Onmy-UBA*01. Although Onmy-UAA*01 exhibits restriction fragment length polymorphism on Southern blotting, the encoded protein is highly conserved. Two allotypes, which differ only by substitution at amino acid position 223 of the alpha 3 domain, have been defined. Onmy-UAA*01 has an exon-intron organization like other class I genes and contains a Tc1-like transposon element in intron III. Orthologues of Onmy-UAA*01 have been characterized in four other species of salmonid. Between four species of Oncorhynchus, UAA*01 proteins differ by only 2-6 amino acids, whereas comparison of Oncorhynchus with Salmo trutta (brown trout) reveals 14-16 amino acid differences. The Onmy-UAA*01 gene has properties indicative of a particularly divergent non-classical class I gene.

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