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Nat Genet. 1996 Dec;14(4):474-8.

An H-YDb epitope is encoded by a novel mouse Y chromosome gene.

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Centre for Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


Rejection of male tissue grafts by genotypically identical female mice has been explained by the existence of a male-specific transplantation antigen, H-Y (ref. 1), but the molecular nature of H-Y antigen has remained obscure. Hya, the murine locus controlling H-Y expression, has been localized to delta Sxrb, a deletion interval of the short arm of the Y chromosome. In mice, H-Y antigen comprises at least four distinct epitopes, each recognized by a specific T lymphocyte clone. It has recently been shown that one of these epitopes, H-YKk, is a peptide encoded by the Y-linked Smcy gene, presented at the cell surface with the H-2Kk major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule. However, deletion mapping and the analysis of variable inactivation of H-Y epitopes has suggested that the Hya locus may be genetically complex. Here we describe a novel mouse Y chromosome gene which we call Uty (ubiquitously transcribed tetratricopeptide repeat gene on the Y chromosome). We identify the peptide WMHHNMDLI derived from the UTY protein as an H-Y epitope, H-YDb. Our data formally demonstrate that H-Y antigen is the product of more than one gene on the Y chromosome.

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