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Int J Immunogenet. 2007 Oct;34(5):359-67.

A putative gene located at the MHC class I region around the D6S105 marker contributes to the setting of CD8+ T-lymphocyte numbers in humans.

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Molecular Evolution, Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Porto, Portugal.


Significant associations between human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-A and -B alleles and CD8+ T-lymphocyte numbers have been reported in the literature in both healthy populations and in HFE-haemochromatosis patients. In order to address whether HLA alleles themselves or alleles at linked genes are responsible for these associations, several genetic markers at the MHC class I region were typed on a population of 147 apparently healthy unrelated subjects phenotypically characterized for their CD8+ and CD4+ T-lymphocyte numbers. By using a machine learning approach, a set of rules was generated that predict the number of CD8+ T-lymphocyte numbers on the basis of the information of the D6S105 microsatellite alleles only. We demonstrate that the previously reported associations with HLA-A and -B alleles are due to the presence of common long (up to 4 megabases long) haplotypes that increased in frequency recently due to positive selection and that encompass a region where a putative gene contributing to the setting of CD8+ T lymphocytes is located, in the neighbourhood of microsatellite locus D6S105, in the 6p21.3 region.

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