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Title: Signatures of historical demography and pathogen richness on MHC class I genes
Authors: Qutob, Nouar
Keywords: Major histocompatibility complex
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Abstract The extreme polymorphism of MHC class I has been argued to be driven by balancing selection from pathogens, with the prediction that populations exposed to a wider variety of diseases should have higher diversity. We assembled a global database of allotype frequencies for MHC class I genes and investigated possible drivers of genetic diversity, measured in different ways. We first looked for a decline in diversity with distance from Africa (a consequence of drift during human expansions) and then investigated the link with pathogen richness once the effect of drift had been corrected for. Using heterozygosity, we recovered a clear decline in diversity from Africa and confirmed the positive relationship between genetic diversity and pathogen richness for all three classical MHC class I genes. However, when we considered a sequence-based measure of genetic diversity, the correlation with geographic distance from Africa vanished for HLA-C, and the correlations with pathogen richness for the three MHC class I genes were much weaker. HLA-C is known to consist of two functional classes of allotypes (classified with respect to the 80th residue), which interact with different KIR receptors. While this separation provided some improvement in the fit between genetic diversity and distance from Africa for one class, much clearer and
Description: Authors include:Francois Balloux & Towfique Raj & Hua Liu & Sophie Marion de ProcĂ© & John Trowsdale & Andrea Manica
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