Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New method to analyse the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) of the human genome

25.04.2006
Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have developed a new method for analyzing the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) of the human genome. This large region, found on chromosome 6, encodes more than 400 known genes. The best known of these genes are the HLA genes that govern tissue type and participate in the immune system by protecting people from infection or by governing susceptibility to autoimmune diseases or cancer.

The researchers’ new lab method is described in the paper "Long-range Multi-locus Haplotype Phasing of the MHC" which was published today (April 21) in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper will appear in the May 2 print edition. The method may have the potential of being an efficient way to map genes in the MHC that are responsible for many human diseases, and might also be useful in studying other gene complexes that have a lot of variability.

The senior and corresponding author is Effie Petersdorf, M.D., member of the Clinical Research Division. Fellow researchers are Zhen Guo, Ph.D., and Mari Malkki, Ph.D., of the Clinical Research Division; and Dr. Leroy Hood of Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology.

The MHC is one of the most diverse regions of the human genome, and its diversity is thought to have been shaped by widely varying evolutionary forces. Many of its genes are ancient and may have remained unchanged throughout human evolution.

The MHC also governs the degree of people’s acceptance or rejection of transplanted organs or bone marrow transplants. Identical twins, for example, have identical MHC genes and therefore can receive transplants from each other without risk of rejection. The MHC also is likely to govern many as yet unknown functions in the human body.

Segments of MHC are almost always inherited as an entire block, called a haplotype, a word that means "single unit," rather than as separate genes. Haplotypes may be one of the genetic reasons behind complex diseases that are not associated with just one gene or one genetic mutation, but with sets of genes.

About a year ago, an international collaboration of scientists produced a haplotype map of the human genome named the HapMap. The project was an effort to catalog genetic variation throughout the human genome, including the MHC region.

Family studies and statistical analysis are among the tools used to determine haplotypes. In addition, several laboratory methods have been developed to define haplotypes. However, these methods have limitations in studying the MHC because of its extensive diversity, the uneven distribution of its coding variation and the physical distances between genes within the MHC region.

"Population genetic epidemiology studies of unrelated individuals may lack family studies to definitely ascertain the physical linkage of genes or markers on haplotypes," Petersdorf said. "To address this need, we developed a method to link HLA genes across long distances of chromosome 6. This method provides haplotype information without a family study, and may be useful for mapping genes of the MHC that cause common diseases in large unrelated populations."

The researchers decided to work on a laboratory tool to study particular sections of the MHC, a choice that was motivated by the importance of these genes in disease studies, in anthropological research, and in the selection of potential donors for organ transplants or blood and marrow transplants. They wrote that it might be possible to expand their method to span the entire MHC, but this would require reconstructing the huge complex into several overlapping segments.

The new lab method, the researchers noted, could possibly fulfill an unmet need for tools to use in conducting genetic studies in populations of unrelated individuals. The researchers have applied for a U.S. non-provisional patent for their haplotyping method.

Dean Forbes | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fhcrc.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>