The HLA-DR4 haplotype consists of four DRB genes: DRB1*04, DRBVII, DRBVIII, and DRB4*01, arranged in this order on the chromosome. The DRB1 and DRB4 genes code for β chains of the αβ heterodimers expressed on the cell surface and bearing the HLA-DR4 and HLA DRw53 determinants, respectively; the DRBVII and DRBVIII are pseudogenes. We found and sequenced a gene closely related to HLA-DRBVIII in the genome of the lowland gorilla "Sylvia". We designate this gene Gogo-DRB8. The close relationship between the two genes is indicated by the overall sequence similarity, the absence of recognizable exons 1 and 2 in both genes, the presence if two Alu repeats at corresponding positions, and high sequence similarity between corresponding repeats. The comparison with an outgroup (tamarin) gene and the functional counterparts of the DRB8 gene indicate that DRB8 emerged between 18 and 26 million years ago and became inactivated at the same time as or shortly after its creation. Hence DRB8 has probably existed as a pseudogene since the divergence of apes from Old World monkeys more than 20 million years ago. Human Immunology 32, 211-220 (1991).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy