Twenty cDNA clones derived from β-chainencoding class II genes of the zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio) major histocompatibility complex (MHC) have been sequenced. They fall into three groups identifying three loci of expressed genes. The length and organization of these genes are similar to those of their mammalian homologs. Amplification by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing of genomic DNA from zebrafish collected at different locations in India indicate the existence of a fourth group of sequences (fourth locus). A high degree of polymorphism at the B. rerio MHC loci and concentration of variability to the putative peptide-binding region of the β1-domain-encoding part of the gene are also indicated. Large genetic distances between alleles suggest trans-specific evolution of fish MHC polymorphism. Zebrafish genes appear to be derived from a different ancestor than the various class II gene families of other vertebrates. In spite of great sequence divergence between fish and mammalian MHC genes, there seems to be a striking conservation in their overall organization.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 1992
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