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Clin Immunol. 2011 Mar;138(3):274-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2010.12.002. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Molecular determinant-based typing of KIR alleles and KIR ligands.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.


Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) regulate NK cell function. KIRs and their HLA ligands are highly polymorphic in nature with substantial allelic polymorphism. At present, there is a lack of an expedient method for KIR and HLA allele typing with relevant functional information. Here, we developed a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assay to type various allele groups of KIR2DL1 with distinct functional properties based on polymorphism at position 245. We also established a SNP assay to type different KIR ligands based on polymorphism at position 77 in HLA-C and position 83 in HLA-B and -A. Our SNP assays for KIR and KIR ligand typing are much cheaper and faster than existing high-resolution typing. Importantly, our high-throughput methods provide readouts that are informative in predicting NK cell activity in health, disease, and transplantation.

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