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Hum Immunol. 2014 Jun;75(6):536-40. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2014.02.023. Epub 2014 Mar 6.

Characterization of human killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) among healthy Saudis.

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King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh 11525, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address:
King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh 11525, Saudi Arabia.
UCLA Immunogenetics Centre, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California at Los Angeles, United States.
Transplant Immunology, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital, Liverpool, UK.
Mafraq Hospital and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.


Genes encoding KIRs vary in frequency among different populations and ethnic groups. This study investigated the KIR gene frequency distribution in 148 healthy unrelated Saudi subjects and compared the results with other published findings. All inhibitory and activating KIR genes were present at variable frequencies, with A haplotype-associated genes (KIR2DL1, -2DL3, -3DL1, and KIR2DS4) being observed at higher frequencies (88.9-99.5%) than B haplotype-associated genes (KIR2DS1, -2DS2, -2DS3, -2DS5, -2DL5 and -2DL2) (31.1-70.1%). Thirty-one different KIR genotypes were observed, and AA genotypes displayed the highest frequency (18.2%). This Saudi population possesses similar KIR gene distributional characteristics to those reported in other neighboring populations (e.g., Lebanese) and shows disparities in certain genes and gene contents from other populations (e.g., Australian Aborigines). These findings can be used as a reference control in future studies evaluating the functional significance of the KIR genes and their associations with specific diseases.


Haplotype; Killer immunoglobulin-like receptor; Saudi

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