Structure, diversity and evolutionary patterns of expressed MHC class IIB genes in chub (Squalius cephalus), a cyprinid fish species from Europe
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- Seifertová, M. & Šimková, A. Immunogenetics (2011) 63: 167. doi:10.1007/s00251-010-0495-3
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The polymorphism of exon 2 of the DAB genes (major histocompatibility complex [MHC] class IIB) was investigated for the first time in the freshwater cyprinid fish species, Squalius cephalus, in the wide range of its distribution in Europe. We identified 111 different MHC class IIB variants in 15 chub populations distributed from Finland to Spain. The sequence analysis showed that many structurally important amino acid sites that were conserved among tetrapods were also conserved in chub. The analysis of recombination indicated that it does not play an important role in producing and maintaining the variation of DAB genes analyzed in the present study. The exon 2 was shown to be subjected to intense positive selection. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence identities suggest the presence of two class IIB loci (DAB1-like and DAB3-like) in chub. Nevertheless, the presence of three DAB3-like sequence variants in several individuals indicates the duplication of the DAB3 gene. A contrasting selection pattern was found in DAB1-like and DAB3-like genes, which suggests the potential functional differences between these genes. Some DAB sequence variants were shared among the populations of different mtDNA lineages. The phylogenetic analyses did not confirm any biogeographical pattern of the genetic structure of MHC IIB in chub, which is in line with balancing selection and trans-species polymorphism in MHC genes. Nevertheless, cluster analysis based on the presence/absence of DAB sequence variants in the populations showed the phylogeophraphical pattern corresponding to the mtDNA lineages, which indicates that neutral selection can partially explain the MHC IIB evolution in chub.