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J Immunol. 1999 Jul 15;163(2):774-86.

Expression, linkage, and polymorphism of MHC-related genes in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss.

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Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


The architecture of the MHC in teleost fish, which display a lack of linkage between class I and II genes, differs from all other vertebrates. Because rainbow trout have been examined for a variety of immunologically relevant genes, they present a good teleost model for examining both the expression and organization of MHC-related genes. Full-length cDNA and partial gDNA clones for proteasome delta, low molecular mass polypeptide (LMP) 2, TAP1, TAP2A, TAP2B, class Ia, and class IIB were isolated for this study. Aside from the expected polymorphisms associated with class I genes, LMP2 and TAP2 are polygenic. More specifically, we found a unique lineage of LMP2 (LMP2/delta) that shares identity to both LMP2 and delta but is expressed like the standard LMP2. Additionally, two very different TAP2 loci were found, one of which encodes polymorphic alleles. In general, the class I pathway genes are expressed in most tissues, with highest levels in lymphoid tissue. We then analyzed the basic genomic organization of the trout MHC in an isogenic backcross. The main class Ia region does not cosegregate with the class IIB locus, but LMP2, LMP2/delta, TAP1A, and TAP2B are linked to the class Ia locus. Interestingly, TAP2A (second TAP2 locus) is a unique lineage in sequence composition that appears not to be linked to this cluster or to class IIB. These results support and extend the recent findings of nonlinkage between class I and II in a different teleost order (cyprinids), suggesting that this unique arrangement is common to all teleosts.

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