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Scand J Immunol. 2014 Dec;80(6):441-51. doi: 10.1111/sji.12239.

Diversity of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor genes in the Bengali population of northern West Bengal, India.

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Cellular Immunology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of North Bengal, Siliguri, India.


The Indian Subcontinent exhibits extensive diversity in its culture, religion, ethnicity and linguistic heritage, which symbolizes extensive genetic variations within the populations. The highly polymorphic Killer cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR) family plays an important role in tracing genetic differentiation in human population. In this study, we aimed to analyse the KIR gene polymorphism in the Bengali population of northern West Bengal, India. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the KIR gene polymorphism in the Bengalis of West Bengal, India. Herein, we have studied the distribution of 14 KIR genes (KIR3DL1-3DL3, KIR2DL1-2DL5, KIR2DS1-2DS5 AND KIR3DS1) and two pseudogenes (KIR3DP1 and 2DP1) in the Bengalis. Apart from the framework genes (KIR2DL4, 3DL2, 3DL3 and 3DP1), which are present in all the individuals, the gene frequencies of other KIR genes varied between 0.34 and 0.88. Moreover, upon comparing the KIR polymorphism of the Bengalis with the available published data of other world populations, it has been found that the Indo-European-speaking Bengalis from the region share both Dravidian and Indo-Aryan gene pool with considerable influences of mongoloid and European descents. Furthermore, evidences from previously published data on human leucocyte antigen and Y-chromosome haplogroup diversity support the view. Our results will help to understand the genetic background of the Bengali population, in illustrating the population migration events in the eastern and north-eastern part of India, in explaining the extensive genetic admixture amongst the different linguistic groups of the region and also in KIR-related disease researches.

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