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Serologic cross-reactivities poorly reflect allelic relationships in the HLA-B12 and HLA-B21 groups. Dominant epitopes of the alpha 2 helix.

Hildebrand W.H., Madrigal J.A., Belich M.P., Zemmour J., Ward F.E., Williams R.C., Parham P.

Previous analysis has emphasized the correlation between primary structures of class I HLA molecules and their patterns of serologic cross-reactivity. Here we describe the structures of two serologic groups of HLA-B alleles for which this is not the case. HLA-B45, an allele associated with black populations, is serologically paired with B44 in the B12 group; its structure, however, is divergent from that of B44 but closely related to B50. The BN21 (B*4005) allele is associated with native Americans and is serologically grouped with B50 in the B21 group; its structure, however, is more closely related to alleles of the B40 group. The B44 and B45 serologically cross-reactive molecules differ at seven functional positions of the Ag recognition site; the B50 and BN21 molecules differ at four such residues. These differences are predicted to alter peptide presentation and be capable of eliciting strong alloreactive T cell responses. For these pairs of B12 and B21 Ag, serology appears dominated by epitopes formed by short sequences of the alpha 2 helix which have been shuffled by recombination between alleles. The implications of these results for HLA matching in transplantation are discussed.

J. Immunol. 149:3563-3568(1992) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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