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EMBO J. 1985 Sep;4(9):2231-7.

The human HLA class II alpha chain gene DZ alpha is distinct from genes in the DP, DQ and DR subregions.


A new human HLA class II alpha gene DZ alpha was sequenced. The structure and organisation of the gene was similar to other alpha chain genes except for a particularly small intron (95 bp) after the exon encoding the alpha 2 domain, and the position of the stop codon, which was on a different exon to that encoding the cytoplasmic portion of the molecule. Comparison of the DZ alpha sequence with other class II genes showed that the gene is about as distantly related to alpha chain genes in the DP, DQ and DR subregions as they are to each other. The DZ alpha gene results in an unusually large mRNA transcript of greater than 3.0 kb, detected on Northern blots of B cell lines. From the sequence, there are no obvious features that would render DZ alpha a pseudogene, except for an unusual poly(A)+ addition signal, ACTAAA. Analysis of Northern blots shows that sequences downstream (3') of this signal are present in mature mRNA. The large transcripts are probably due to defects in the signals for processing of the mRNA transcript at the 3' end.

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