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Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor gene diversity in the Saudi population

Gaafar, Ameera, Sheereen, Atia, Iqneibi, Alia, Mohamed, Gamal, Sulaiman, Abdullah Al, Turpeinen, Hannu, Hussein, Khalid Al
Molecular biology reports 2011 v.38 no.4 pp. 2603-2610
T-lymphocytes, antigens, cell transplantation, genes, genetic markers, haplotypes, loci, receptors, stem cells
Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) influence the outcome of haematopoetic stem cell transplantation by modulating the cytotoxic ability of natural killer (NK) cells and a subset of T cells. KIRs are also highly polymorphic and could therefore be good population genetic markers, much like their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) ligands. This study represents the first report on distribution of 16 KIR genes in 162 unrelated healthy Saudi individuals. All the 16 KIR genes were observed in the studied population and the four framework genes (KIR2DL4, 3DL2, 3DL3 and 3DP1) were present in all individuals. Forty- one distinct KIR profiles were expressed in our population, 11 of which had not been previously described in other populations including the Middle Eastern population. AA1, the most common genotypic profile was observed at a frequency of 26.5%. The group A haplotype was more frequent (53%) in the Saudi population compared to the group B haplotype (47%). The pattern of the inhibitory KIR/HLA ligands were also analyzed and 52.3% of the Saudi population was found to express two pairs of the inhibitory KIR/HLA-C. The KIR gene frequencies suggests that the Saudi population shares common general features with the Middle Eastern and other populations, but still has its own unique frequencies of several KIR loci.