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Hum Immunol. 2005 Nov;66(11):1174-82. Epub 2005 Oct 18.

Multiplex genotyping of human minor histocompatibility antigens.

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Product Development Laboratory, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53201-2178, USA.


Minor histocompatibility antigens (mHAg) induce major histocompatibility complex-restricted, T cell-mediated immune responses that may contribute to increased risk of graft-versus-host disease and graft-versus-leukemia effects. Unlike human leukocyte antigen genes, mHAg are encoded by genetically and functionally unrelated genes located throughout the chromosome. The role of mHAg in stem cell transplantation and the population frequencies of mHAg alleles remain unknown due in part to the lack of suitable high throughput methods for genotyping these diverse genes. Here we describe the development and utility of a multiplexed Luminex assay for genotyping human mHAg, including HA-1, HA-2, HA-3, HA-8, HB-1, CD31(125), and CD31(563). The assay uses a multiplexed, allele-independent, gated amplification of mHAg genes followed by differential detection of allele-specific primer extension products using the MultiCode PLx system (EraGen Biosciences, Madison, WI). The alleles are interrogated using a multiplex allele-specific primer extension reaction using primers tagged with EraCodes. The products are hybridized to Luminex beads and the hybridization duplexes are detected using streptavidin-phycoerythrin. The assay resolved the mHAg genotypes of 259 Caucasian donors and provided population estimates of mHAg gene and phenotypic frequencies. All mHAg alleles evaluated in this study exhibited Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, although some mHAg phenotypes were present in large majority of individuals tested (HA-2, HB-1). This assay will provide a valuable tool for determining mHAg frequencies in other ethnic populations, as well as for establishing the clinical importance of mHAg disparities in stem cell transplantation.

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