Rev Immunogenet. 1999;1(2):231-8.
Mapping HLA for single nucleotide polymorphisms.
Geraghty DE, Vu Q, Williams L, Janer M, Gassner C, Russell C, Ishitani A, Jasoni C.
Knowledge of DNA sequence variation may help us understand how genetic variability gives rise to functional variability and, in so doing, revolutionize the development of strategies to combat and prevent disease. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are stable, inherited, biallelic, single base pair differences which are present in the human genome at a density of 1 to 10 per 1,000 nucleotides. It is anticipated that SNPs will account for much of the functional heterogeneity in gene expression and protein activity exhibited in the human population. Susceptibility to or protection from a number of diseases, particularly those of autoimmune etiology, has been associated with specific alleles of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex. Interestingly, the precise molecular defects in the HLA genes are unknown and the notion that non-HLA genes, within the same chromosomal region, are involved remains a formal possibility. We have determined the nucleotide sequence of a contiguous 2.2 Mbp segment of chromosome six that includes all of the HLA class I region, and have identified over 10,000 SNPs therein. Because of the derivative knowledge of gene and SNP content and position, the scientific community is now uniquely poised to identify disease-contributory SNPs that lie within the MHC.