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Hum Immunol. 2009 Oct;70(10):858-63. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2009.07.006. Epub 2009 Jul 7.

Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor allele discrimination by high-resolution melting.

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  • 1Northern Ireland Regional Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, United Kingdom.


New molecular techniques for allele discrimination such as high-resolution melting (HRM) allow fast, reliable and high-throughput typing without the use of oligonucleotide probes. HRM can also provide an alternative for problematic allele assignments caused by the presence of homopolymeric regions or ambiguous haplotyping. We show here how we have used HRM to introduce upgrades in our KIR allele level typing system for the KIR2DS4, KIR2DL4, and KIR3DL2 genes. The allele assignments obtained by HRM, confirmed by sequencing, were clear-cut and reproducible. This technique allowed for quick and easy upgrading of the KIR allele frequencies and is now validated for future updates of KIR typing. The ongoing refinement of KIR haplotype distribution in our control population will help in disease association studies involving the KIR genes.

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