Divergence and diversity of ULBP2 genes in rhesus and cynomolgus macaques.

Immunogenetics 2014 Mar 28;66(3):161-70. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

Department of Molecular Pathogenesis, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8510, Japan.

Non-human primates such as rhesus macaque and cynomolgus macaque are important animals for medical research fields and they are classified as Old World monkey, in which genome structure is characterized by gene duplications. In the present study, we investigated polymorphisms in two genes for ULBP2 molecules that are ligands for NKG2D. A total of 15 and 11 ULBP2.1 alleles and 11 and 10 ULBP2.2 alleles were identified in rhesus macaques and cynomolgus macaques, respectively. Nucleotide sequences of exons for extra cellular domain were highly polymorphic and more than 70 % were non-synonymous variations in both ULBP2.1 and ULBP2.2. In addition, phylogenetic analyses revealed that the ULBP2.2 was diverged from a branch of ULBP2.1 along with ULBP2s of higher primates. Moreover, when 3D structural models were constructed for the rhesus ULBP2 molecules, residues at presumed contact sites with NKG2D were polymorphic in ULBP2.1 and ULBP2.2 in the rhesus macaque and cynomolgus macaque, respectively. These observations suggest that amino acid replacements at the interaction sites with NKG2D might shape a specific nature of ULBP2 molecules in the Old World monkeys.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00251-014-0760-yDOI Listing
March 2014
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