To determine the organization of the DP region in the Mbc of anthropoid primates, we constructed contig maps from cosmid clones of the chimpanzee and orangutan, representatives of teh infraorder Catarrhini, as well as of the cotton-top tamarin, a representative of the infraorder Platyrrhini. We found the maps to be remarkably similar to each other and to the previously published map of the human DP region. In each of the four species, the DP region consists of four loci arranged in the same order (DPB2... DPA2... DPB1... DPA1) and in the same transcriptional orientation (tail-to-tail). The regions in the four species are of approximately the same length and many of the restriction sites are shared between species. The inserts of most Alu elements, of a ribosomal protein pseudogene, and of an IgCε-like pseudogene are found in corresponding posistions in all four species. The data indicate that the human-type organization of the DP region was established before the divergence of the Catarrhini and Platyrrhini lines more than 37 million years ago and that it has remained principally intact since that time. This conservation of the DP region is in striking contrast to the evolutionary instability of certain other Mhc regions, in particular those occupied by the DRB or C4 and CYP21 loci. We interpret the stability of the DP region as an indication that the region is being phased out functionally.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy