Polymorphisms of killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) and HLA ligands in northeastern Thais

Suwit Chaisri, Kriengkrai Kitcharoen, Amornrat V Romphruk, Arunrat Romphruk, Campbell S Witt, Chanvit Leelayuwat
Immunogenetics 2013, 65 (9): 645-53
Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) are cell surface receptors on natural killer (NK) cells and subsets of T cells. The functions of NK cells are partly regulated by interactions between KIRs and HLA ligands on target cells. In this study, the presence or absence of 17 KIR genes and their known HLA ligands have been investigated in 235 unrelated individuals living in northeastern Thailand (NET). Subtypes of KIR2DS4 including full length (KIR2DS4F) and deleted forms (KIR2DS4D) have also been determined. Framework genes (KIR2DL4, 3DL2, 3DL3, and 3DP1) were found in all individuals and KIR genes belonging to the A haplotype (KIR2DL1, 2DL3, 3DL1, and 2DS4) were present in more than 90% of NET. KIR2DS4D (61.7%) was more common than KIR2DS4F (52.8%). A total of 33 different KIR genotypes were observed. Of these, three new genotypes were identified. The most common genotype (AA) was observed in 35.7% of NET, and HLA-C alleles bearing the C1 epitope (HLA-C1) had the highest frequency (97%). All individuals had at least one inhibitory KIR and its corresponding HLA ligand; 40.9% of NET had three pairs of receptor-ligand combinations, and 18.3% had all three receptor-ligand combinations of KIR2DL3+C1, 3DL1+Bw4, and 3DL2+A11. Surprisingly, the patterns of KIR gene frequencies in NET are more similar to those of Caucasians than Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. This is the first report on complete analysis of KIR and known HLA ligands in Thais. These data provide basic knowledge on KIR for further studies on disease associations and transplantation in northeastern Thais.


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