|TIAB (Title and Abstract)|
HLA-B44 subtyping in a Spanish population: further evidence of Caucasian population diversity.
HLA-B44 is the most frequent HLA-B allele in Caucasian populations. Several B44 subtypes, B*4402-B*4406, have been identified in individuals with this ethnic origin. Mismatches among B44 subtypes have been described as major targets for allogeneic responses in bone marrow transplantation. We have developed a PCR-SSO method, based on a B12- specific DNA amplification of exon 2 through exon 3 and subsequent non radioactive hybridization with eight probes, which allow us to discriminate all B12 homozygous combinations. We applied this method to determine the frequency of B44 subtypes in a Spanish population, as well as their HLA-A,-C,-DRB1,-DRB3/DRB4/ DRB5,-DQA1 and -DQB1 associated haplotypes. A total of 141 healthy unrelated Spanish individuals and 31 B44-bearing haplotypes were investigated. Four B44 alleles were identified, B*4402 (33%), B*4403 (66%), B*4404 (0.7%), and B*4405 (0.7%). Haplotype analysis showed a clear differentiated distribution pattern for the two major B44 subtypes. B*4402 is associated with Cw5 (11/13) and A2 antigens (10/13). In contrast, B*4403 is mainly found together with DRB1*0701 (14/16). An inverted B*4402/B*4403 frequency in comparison with other European and North American Caucasian populations, revealed the existence of an extended haplotype diversity between populations of the same ethnic origin. Apart from anthropological studies, high resolution typing for HLA class I antigens presenting molecular polymorphism will be of great relevance in unrelated bone marrow transplantation.