Cloning and sequence analysis of 14 DRB alleles of the bovine major histocompatibility complex by using the polymerase chain reaction. Academic Article uri icon


  • The genetic diversity in the first domain exon of a bovine class II DRB gene was investigated by PCR amplification and DNA sequencing. Genomic DNA samples representing 14 different class II haplotypes, defined by RFLP analysis, were used. The analysis revealed an extensive polymorphism and 14 alleles at a single locus, designated DRB3, were identified. Multiple amino acid substitutions were found in all pairwise comparisons of alleles; 5 to 21 substitutions in the 83 positions compared. The genetic diversity at the amino acid level found in cattle matches the one previously found in the DRB1 locus in man. The significantly higher frequency of replacement substitutions compared with the frequency of silent substitutions provides strong evidence that there is selection for genetic diversity in the bovine DRB3 first domain exon. A comparison of the DRB polymorphism in man and cattle reveals a striking similarity as regards the location of polymorphic positions in the DRB molecule and the degree of polymorphism at polymorphic positions. The majority of polymorphic positions in both species are found in the proposed antigen recognition site of the class II molecule. In addition, there are eight positions which are polymorphic in both species but have not been assigned to the antigen recognition site. The possible functional significance of the polymorphism of these latter positions is discussed.

published proceedings

  • Anim Genet

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Sigurdardttir, S., Borsch, C., Gustafsson, K., & Andersson, L.

citation count

  • 99

complete list of authors

  • Sigurdardóttir, S||Borsch, C||Gustafsson, K||Andersson, L

publication date

  • January 1991