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Immunogenetics. 2011 Aug;63(8):501-9. doi: 10.1007/s00251-011-0531-y. Epub 2011 May 7.

ULBP4/RAET1E is highly polymorphic in the Old World monkey.

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Department of Molecular Pathogenesis, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Japan.


Natural-killer group 2 member D (NKG2D) is an activating receptor that plays an important role in the immune response mediated by NK cells, γδ(+) T cells, and CD8(+) T cells. In humans, MHC class I chain-related genes and UL-16 binding protein (ULBP)/retinoic acid early transcript 1 (REAT1) gene family encode ligands for NKG2D. The rhesus and crab-eating macaques, which belong to the Old World monkeys, are widely used as non-human primate models in medical researches on the immunological process. In the present study, we investigated the polymorphisms of ULBP4/RAET1E, a member of the ULBP/RAET1 family, and found 25 and 14 alleles from the rhesus and crab-eating macaques, respectively, of which diversities were far more extended than in humans. A phylogenetic study suggested that the allelic diversification of ULBP4/RAET1E predated the divergence of rhesus and crab-eating macaques.

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