Evolution of the MHC class I genes of a New World primate from ancestral homologues of human non-classical genes.


Journal Article

The products of the classical human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I genes (HLA-A, -B, -C) are highly polymorphic molecules that bind peptides and present them to T lymphocytes. The non-polymorphic, non-classical MHC class I gene products (HLA-E, -F, -G) are not restricting elements for the majority of T lymphocytes. The evolutionary relationship of the non-classical and classical MHC class I genes is unclear. Here we present the cloning and sequencing of the MHC class I genes of a New World primate, the cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus). The expressed MHC class I genes of this species are more closely related to the human non-classical HLA-G gene than they are to genes of the human classical HLA-A, -B, and -C loci. These observations imply that classical and non-classical genes do not necessarily constitute mutually exclusive groups over evolutionary time.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Watkins, DI; Chen, ZW; Hughes, AL; Evans, MG; Tedder, TF; Letvin, NL

Published Date

  • July 5, 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 346 / 6279

Start / End Page

  • 60 - 63

PubMed ID

  • 2114550

Pubmed Central ID

  • 2114550

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-0836

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/346060a0


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England