, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 295-306,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 05 Mar 2010

The mosaic of KIR haplotypes in rhesus macaques


To further refine and improve biomedical research in rhesus macaques, it is necessary to increase our knowledge concerning both the degree of allelic variation (polymorphism) and diversity (gene copy number variation) in the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) gene cluster. Pedigreed animals in particular should be studied, as segregation data will provide clues to the linkage of particular KIR genes/alleles segregating on a haplotype and to its gene content as well. A dual strategy allowed us to screen the presence and absence of genes and the corresponding transcripts, as well as to track differences in transcription levels. On the basis of this approach, 14 diverse KIR haplotypes have been described. These haplotypes consist of multiple inhibitory and activating Mamu-KIR genes, and any gene present on one haplotype may be absent on another. This suggests that the cost of accelerated evolution by recombination may be the loss of certain framework genes on a haplotype.