Development of a DNA microarray for detection of expressed equine classical MHC class I sequences in a defined population
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- Ramsay, J.D., Leib, S.R., Orfe, L. et al. Immunogenetics (2010) 62: 633. doi:10.1007/s00251-010-0463-y
Development of an accurate and efficient molecular-based equine MHC class I typing method would facilitate the study of T lymphocyte immune responses in horses. Here, a DNA microarray was designed to detect expressed classical MHC class I genes comprising serologically defined equine leukocyte antigen (ELA)-A haplotypes represented in a closed Arabian horse breeding herd. Initially, cloning and sequencing of RT-PCR products were used to identify sequences associated with the ELA-A1, A4, and W11 haplotypes, and one undefined haplotype, in six horses. Subsequently, sequence-specific, conserved (positive control), and random nucleotide (negative control) 23- to 27-mer oligonucleotide microarray probes were designed and spotted onto an epoxy-coated masked slide using a robotic arrayer. Bulk RT-PCR products from each horse were biotinylated by nick translation, hybridized to the array, and detected using tyramide signal amplification. The microarray consistently detected eight of nine classical MHC class I transcripts and allowed ELA haplotypic associations to be made. Cloning and sequencing of RT-PCR products were then performed in a group of ELA disparate horses and ponies, in which six novel sequences were identified. This group was used to determine the specificity of the array. Overall, the microarray was more efficient than cloning and sequencing for detecting expressed classical MHC class I sequences in this defined population of horses, and was significantly more specific than serology. These results confirmed the utility of a microarray-based method for high-resolution MHC class I typing in the horse. With additional probes the array could be useful in a broader population.