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Asian population frequencies and haplotype distribution of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genes among Chinese, Malay, and Indian in Singapore

Yi Chuan Lee, Soh Ha Chan, Ee Chee Ren
Immunogenetics 2008, 60 (11): 645-54
18668235
Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) gene frequencies have been shown to be distinctly different between populations and contribute to functional variation in the immune response. We have investigated KIR gene frequencies in 370 individuals representing three Asian populations in Singapore and report here the distribution of 14 KIR genes (2DL1, 2DL2, 2DL3, 2DL4, 2DL5, 2DS1, 2DS2, 2DS3, 2DS4, 2DS5, 3DL1, 3DL2, 3DL3, 3DS1) with two pseudogenes (2DP1, 3DP1) among Singapore Chinese (n = 210); Singapore Malay (n = 80), and Singapore Indian (n = 80). Four framework genes (KIR3DL3, 3DP1, 2DL4, 3DL2) and a nonframework pseudogene 2DP1 were detected in all samples while KIR2DS2, 2DL2, 2DL5, and 2DS5 had the greatest significant variation across the three populations. Fifteen significant linkage patterns, consistent with associations between genes of A and B haplotypes, were observed. Eighty-four distinct KIR profiles were determined in our populations, 38 of which had not been described in other populations. KIR haplotype studies were performed using nine Singapore Chinese families comprising 34 individuals. All genotypes could be resolved into corresponding pairs of existing haplotypes with eight distinct KIR genotypes and eight different haplotypes. The haplotype A2 with frequency of 63.9% was dominant in Singapore Chinese, comparable to that reported in Korean and Chinese Han. The A haplotypes predominate in Singapore Chinese, with ratio of A to B haplotypes of approximately 3:1. Comparison with KIR frequencies in other populations showed that Singapore Chinese shared similar distributions with Chinese Han, Japanese, and Korean; Singapore Indian was found to be comparable with North Indian Hindus while Singapore Malay resembled the Thai.

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