, Volume 50, Issue 3–4, pp 201–212

Nine major HLA class I supertypes account for the vast preponderance of HLA-A and -B polymorphism

  • A. Sette
  • J. Sidney

DOI: 10.1007/s002510050594

Cite this article as:
Sette, A. & Sidney, J. Immunogenetics (1999) 50: 201. doi:10.1007/s002510050594


 Herein, we review the epitope approach to vaccine development, and discuss how knowledge of HLA supertypes might be used as a tool in the development of such vaccines. After reviewing the main structural features of the A2-, A3-, B7-, and B44- supertype alleles, and biological data demonstrating their immunological relevance, we analyze the frequency at which these supertype alleles are expressed in various ethnicities and discuss the relevance of those observations to vaccine development. Next, the existence of five new supertypes (A1, A24, B27, B58, and B62) is reported. As a result, it is possible to account for the predominance of all known HLA class I with only nine main functional binding specificities. The practical implications of this finding, as well as its relevance to understanding the functional implication of MHC polymorphism in humans, are discussed.

Key words Vaccines Epitopes HLA Supertypes Polymorphism MHC 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Sette
    • 1
  • J. Sidney
    • 1
  1. 1.Epimmune Inc., 5820 Nancy Ridge Drive, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92121, USA e-mail: Tel.: +1-858-8602544, Fax: +1-858-8602600US

Personalised recommendations