Genomic organization of the mammalian Mhc

Attila Kumánovics, Toyoyuki Takada, Kirsten Fischer Lindahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

167 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Human Genome Project transformed the quest of more than 50 years to understand the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc). The sequence of the Mhc from human and mouse, together with a large amount of sequence and mapping information from several other species, allows us to draw general conclusions about the organization and origin of this crucial part of the immune system. The Mhc is a mosaic of stretches formed by conserved and nonconserved genes. Surprisingly, of the ∼3.6-Mb Mhc, the stretches that encode the class I and class II genes, which epitomize the Mhc, are the least conserved part, whereas the ∼1.7-Mb stretches that encode at least 115 other genes are highly conserved. We summarize the available data to answer the questions (a) What is the Mhc? and (b) How can we define it in a general, not species-specific, way? Knowing what is essential and what is incidental helps us understand the fundamentals of the Mhc, and defining the species differences makes the model organisms more useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-657
Number of pages29
JournalAnnual Review of Immunology
Volume21
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Fingerprint

Major Histocompatibility Complex
Human Genome Project
MHC Class II Genes
Genes
Immune System

Keywords

  • Class I genes
  • Class II genes
  • Duplication
  • Evolution
  • Major histocompatibility complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Genomic organization of the mammalian Mhc. / Kumánovics, Attila; Takada, Toyoyuki; Fischer Lindahl, Kirsten.

In: Annual Review of Immunology, Vol. 21, 2003, p. 629-657.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kumánovics, Attila ; Takada, Toyoyuki ; Fischer Lindahl, Kirsten. / Genomic organization of the mammalian Mhc. In: Annual Review of Immunology. 2003 ; Vol. 21. pp. 629-657.
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