Studies of HLA-G and HLA-E polymorphisms in different populations from many industrialized countries have uniformly reported little sequence variation within these genes. To date, the polymorphism of these genes has not been characterized in populations from developing countries where more sequence variation would be anticipated due to greater exposure to microbial pathogens. In order to address this issue, we have recently investigated the polymorphism of these MHC genes in an indigenous African population (Shona ethnic group). HLA-G and HLA-E alleles were determined by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) analysis in 108 unrelated women recruited from maternity clinics and hospitals in Harare (Zimbabwe). The genotyping analysis identified six different HLA-G alleles and three HLA-E alleles in this population. Of interest, the null-allele HLA-G*0105N was found with 11.1% of frequency, which is higher than in other populations tested so far. We observed the presence of 15 distinct HLA-G genotypes and 6 HLA-E genotypes. These data indicate that this African population contains low levels of allelic polymorphism similar to ethnic groups from industrialized countries. This is the first report describing HLA-G and HLA-E polymorphisms in an indigenous African population.
- Major histocompatibility complex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy