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Eur J Immunogenet. 1994 Aug;21(4):259-89.

Polymorphism of bovine MHC class II genes. Joint report of the Fifth International Bovine Lymphocyte Antigen (BoLA) Workshop, Interlaken, Switzerland, 1 August 1992.

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Department of Microbiology. Immunology and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-6401, USA.


Polymorphism of the bovine DRB, DQA, DQB, DYA, DOB and DIB genes was investigated using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, isoelectric focusing (IEF), class II serology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based typing techniques. The simultaneous application of multiple typing techniques and the characterization of multiple genes resulted in a greatly enhanced picture of the bovine class II regions. Thirty-eight class IIa (DR-DQ) and 5 class IIb (DYA-DOB-DIB) haplotypes were defined. It was found that IEF types were associated with DRB3 polymorphism defined by DRB3 PCR-RFLP and DRB3 microsatellite PCR. Serologically defined polymorphism was associated with distinct molecular/IEF motifs and, therefore, DR and DQ specificities could be tentatively distinguished. Although the DR and DQ genes are tightly linked, neither DR nor DQ typing defined all of the class IIa region polymorphism. Furthermore, even the most powerful DRB3 typing technique, DRB3 PCR-RFLP, failed to detect all expressed DRB3 polymorphism. All detected DRB3 polymorphism could, however, be distinguished with a combination of two molecular techniques: DRB3 PCR-RFLP and DRB3 microsatellite PCR. RFLP typing with transmembrane probes detected significantly less polymorphism than typing with cDNA or exon probes. However, the transmembrane probes were useful because they were locus specific. The presence of only 5 of 12 possible class IIb haplotypes was unexpected and indicates that the DYA, DOB and DIB genes are tightly linked.

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