, Volume 26, Issue 4-5, pp 282-290

Allelic forms of the alpha- and beta-chain genes encoding DQw1-positive heterodimers

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On chromosome 6, in the HLA region, the DQ subregion is located immediately centromeric to the DR subregion. Even though only three serological specificities to date have been officially recognized (DQwl, DQw2, and DQw3), it seems likely that the phenotypical polymorphism expressed by DQ molecules is much more complex. There are reasons to believe that fixed alpha-beta combinations exist, each of them associated with a different DR allele. DQw1 is a determinant present on DQ molecules that are found associated with DRI-, DR2-, and DRw6-positive haplotypes. By restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, we recognized three allelic DQ-alpha and three allelic DQ-beta patterns associated with DQw1 . In addition, one of these alpha/beta pairs associated with DR1, two with DR2, and a fourth with DRw6. We have obtained evidence using nucleotide sequencing that there are as many allelic forms of DQ-alpha and DQ-beta genes as there are different molecular DQ-alpha and DQ-beta patterns. The DQ-alpha and DQ-beta chains of DQwl-positive molecules each are encoded by at least three distinctly different allelic genes, and particular alpha/beta gene combinations are associated with the same DR alleles as their corresponding molecular alpha/beta pairs.