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A cosmid clone containing the DR alpha gene and a beta 1 exon of a DR beta-related gene was isolated from a human cosmid clone bank made from the consanguineous DR7 cell line MANN. No other DR beta-related exons were found on this clone. The beta 1 exon was located about 15 kb away from the DR alpha gene in a tail-to-tail (3' to 3') orientation. The exon contained several deleterious mutations: a defective splice site at the 5' end, two translational frame shifts (a 1 bp deletion and a 1 bp insertion), and three extra cysteine residues. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence comparisons of the beta 1 exon indicated that although it is substantially different from other class II beta-chain genes, it is slightly more related to DR than to any other class II gene. The DR beta-related sequence was on a DNA fragment which showed no polymorphism on a panel of cell lines with Eco RI or Pst I. These Southern blots, however, revealed a related, polymorphic sequence in the human genome. Nucleotide sequences in the intron flanking the beta 1 exon shared greater sequence homology than the beta 1 exon itself when compared with the DR beta genomic sequence. The exon may play a role in the generation of variation in expressed class II beta-chain genes and it may be a relic of a different subset of class II products.


Journal article



Publication Date





172 - 180


Base Sequence, Cosmids, DNA Restriction Enzymes, Genes, MHC Class II, HLA-DR Antigens, Histocompatibility Antigens Class II, Polymorphism, Genetic