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Polymorphism of LMP2, TAP1, LMP7 and TAP2 in Brazilian Amerindians and Caucasoids: implications for the evolution of allelic and haplotypic diversity

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In the class II region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), four genes implicated in processing of MHC class I-presented antigens have been described. Two of these (TAP1 and TAP2) code for endoplasmic reticulum membrane transporter proteins and the other two (LMP2 and LMP7) for proteasome subunits. These genes are polymorphic, although much less so than classical MHC class I and II genes. There is controversy concerning the possible functional implications of this variation. Population genetics is one of the means of investigating the evolutionary and functional significance of genetic polymorphisms; however, few populations have been analysed with respect to TAP and LMP diversity. We present here the polymorphism of TAP1, TAP2, LMP2 and LMP7 genes in the Kaingang and Guarani Amerindian tribes, and in the Caucasoid population of the Brazilian State of ParanĂ¡. Allele frequencies found in the Caucasoids were close to those described for similar populations. Amerindians had a somewhat more restricted polymorphism, and allele and haplotype frequencies differed greatly between the two tribes. Overall linkage disequilibrium (LD) between the four genes was low in the Caucasoids, but high in the Amerindians, for which significant LD was seen for all informative pairs of loci. Comparing results of this and previous studies we observed that, whenever significant LD occurs in non-Amerindians, it tends to be similar in the different ethnic groups. While this might be interpreted as evidence of co-evolution of genes in the TAP-LMP region, the high haplotypic diversity in all populations and low LD in non-Amerindians indicate absence of co-evolution of the different genes. Distributions of allele and genotype frequencies are consistent with the hypothesis of selective neutrality. We conclude that genetic polymorphism of the human TAP and LMP genes and haplotypes is of little, if any, functional significance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-02-01

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