Composite origin of major histocompatibility complex genes

Jan Klein, Colm O'hUigin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Major histocompatibility complex WHO genes have now been cloned from representatives of all vertebrate classes except Agnatha. The recent accumulation of sequence data has given great insight into the course of evolution of these genes. Although the primary structure of the MHC genes varies greatly from class to class and also within the individual classes, the general features of the tertiary and quaternary structure have been conserved remarkably well during more than 400 million years.of evolution. The ancestral MHC genes may have been assembled from at least three structural elements derived from different gene families. Class II MHC genes appear to have been assembled first, and then to have given rise to class I genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-930
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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