, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 453-470

Polymorphism in mouse and human class I H-2 and HLA genes is not the result of random independent point mutations

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Sufficient mouse H-2 and human HLA class I gene sequences have become available to make a statistical analysis of nucleotide variations within the multigene families possible. In the H-2 and HLA families, a group of four H-2K allelic sequences and three HLA-A sequences were compared with a group of four non-H-2 and three non-HLA-A sequences, respectively. Simple calculations show that nucleotide variations in each group do not occur in a random independent fashion. It is therefore possible that a number of mutations are “concerted” between the subgroups. Interestingly, these concerted mutations are clustered and distributed almost exclusively in the 5′ end of H-2 and HLA genes, which is very rich in GC nucleotides, and where the dinucleotide CpG is particularly frequent. The general concept of unequal repair is proposed as the basis of a model which is supported by these observations.