[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and reactivation pose a serious threat for patients after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We have previously shown that CD8(+) T cells targeting different CMV epitopes correlate with protection at different threshold frequencies in those patients. To investigate if this may relate to a different quality of these cells here we analyse the T-cell receptor diversity of pp50 (245-253)/HLA-A*0101 specific CD8(+) T cells with that of CD8(+) T cells targeting various pp65 peptides. The results from this pilot study show differences in the breadth of the T-cell receptor usage of the different cell populations. We observe for the first time that the T-cell receptor Vβ CDR3 spectratypes used by CMV pp50 (245-253)/HLA-A*0101-specific CD8(+) T cells can reach higher numbers than those used by CD8(+) T cells targeting various pp65 peptides in our patient cohort. This merits further investigation into the effectiveness of the different CMV-specific T cells and their impact on immunosenescence, which is important to eventually define the most useful source of adoptive therapy and monitoring protocols for cytomegalovirus-specific immune responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole genome comparisons identified introgression from archaic to modern humans. Our analysis of highly polymorphic human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I, vital immune system components subject to strong balancing selection, shows how modern humans acquired the HLA-B*73 allele in west Asia through admixture with archaic humans called Denisovans, a likely sister group to the Neandertals. Virtual genotyping of Denisovan and Neandertal genomes identified archaic HLA haplotypes carrying functionally distinctive alleles that have introgressed into modern Eurasian and Oceanian populations. These alleles, of which several encode unique or strong ligands for natural killer cell receptors, now represent more than half the HLA alleles of modern Eurasians and also appear to have been later introduced into Africans. Thus, adaptive introgression of archaic alleles has significantly shaped modern human immune systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system is the most polymorphic in humans. Its allele, genotype, and haplotype frequencies vary significantly among different populations. Molecular typing data on HLA are necessary for the development of stem cell donor registries, cord blood banks, HLA-disease association studies, and anthropology studies. The Costa Rica Central Valley Population (CCVP) is the major population in this country. No previous study has characterized HLA frequencies in this population. Allele group and haplotype frequencies of HLA genes in the CCVP were determined by means of molecular typing in a sample of 130 unrelated blood donors from one of the country's major hospitals. A comparison between these frequencies and those of 126 populations worldwide was also carried out. A minimum variance dendrogram based on squared Euclidean distances was constructed to assess the relationship between the CCVP sample and populations from all over the world. Allele group and haplotype frequencies observed in this study are consistent with a profile of a dynamic and diverse population, with a hybrid ethnic origin, predominantly Caucasian-Amerindian. Results showed that populations genetically closest to the CCVP are a Mestizo urban population from Venezuela, and another one from Guadalajara, Mexico.
Human immunology 10/2010; 72(1):80-6. · 2.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The association of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) with SLE is well established yet the causal variants arising from this region remain to be identified, largely due to inadequate study design and the strong linkage disequilibrium demonstrated by genes across this locus. The majority of studies thus far have identified strong association with classical class II alleles, in particular HLA-DRB1*0301 and HLA-DRB1*1501. Additional associations have been reported with class III alleles; specifically, complement C4 null alleles and a tumor necrosis factor promoter SNP (TNF-308G/A). However, the relative effects of these class II and class III variants have not been determined. We have thus used a family-based approach to map association signals across the MHC class II and class III regions in a cohort of 314 complete United Kingdom Caucasian SLE trios by typing tagging SNPs together with classical typing of the HLA-DRB1 locus. Using TDT and conditional regression analyses, we have demonstrated the presence of two distinct and independent association signals in SLE: HLA-DRB1*0301 (nominal p = 4.9 x 10(-8), permuted p < 0.0001, OR = 2.3) and the T allele of SNP rs419788 (nominal p = 4.3 x 10(-8), permuted p < 0.0001, OR = 2.0) in intron 6 of the class III region gene SKIV2L. Assessment of genotypic risk demonstrates a likely dominant model of inheritance for HLA-DRB1*0301, while rs419788-T confers susceptibility in an additive manner. Furthermore, by comparing transmitted and untransmitted parental chromosomes, we have delimited our class II signal to a 180 kb region encompassing the alleles HLA-DRB1*0301-HLA-DQA1*0501-HLA-DQB1*0201 alone. Our class III signal importantly excludes independent association at the TNF promoter polymorphism, TNF-308G/A, in our SLE cohort and provides a potentially novel locus for future genetic and functional studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report here the full-length sequence of a novel HLA-A*0301 allele, A*03010103, which differs from A*03010101 by a single nucleotide substitution (G>T) at position 492 within intron 2. The variant was originally identified by Reference Strand-mediated Conformational Analysis (RSCA) and was confirmed by cloning and sequencing. The difference in RSCA mobility between A*03010101 and A*03010103 demonstrates the sensitivity of RSCA to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE, METHODS, AND RESULTS: To reduce the period of posttransplant neutropenia and related early morbidity and mortality of cord blood (CB) transplants, we assessed the feasibility of co-infusion of a low number of highly purified peripheral blood CD34+ cells from a related haploidentical donor with a CB graft. Between March 1999 and May 2002, 11 patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies were transplanted using this strategy. The seven patients who received a haploidentical peripheral blood graft and a CB graft from a sibling (6) or the father (1) had prompt recovery (9-17 days, median 10) of the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) to greater than 0.5 x 10(9)/L. Analysis of DNA polymorphisms showed initial predominance of the haploidentical genotype both in granulocytes and in mononuclear cells, and subsequent progressive replacement by cells of CB genotype until final complete CB chimerism was achieved by patients who survived for sufficient periods of time. The four patients who received maternal haploidentical cells had no significant contribution of these to blood leukocytes, although complete CB chimerism was achieved by three of them and two reached engraftment of the CB on days +20 and +36. Morbidity due to early bacterial or fungal infections was remarkably low in patients with prompt ANC recovery. CONCLUSION: Our data show that co-infusion of a CB unit and a low number of haploidentical CD34+ cells may result in a shortened period of posttransplant neutropenia. This is likely the result of prompt and transient engraftment of the haploidentical hematopoietic stem cells that may provide the patient antimicrobial protection until the later engraftment of the CB hematopoietic stem cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently most available HLA-A, -B and -C DNA sequences cover exons 2 and 3 with a limited number extending to include other exons and introns. We have developed a method for the accurate determination of full-length genomic DNA sequences for HLA-A, -B and -C alleles. The method involves cloning of PCR amplified full-length HLA genes to separate alleles at heterozygous loci. The approach avoids any ambiguities from sequencing heterozygous PCR products directly and also avoids ambiguities from sequencing overlapping PCR products to achieve full-length sequence. To date we have sequenced full-length genomic sequences from representatives of all the major HLA-B and -C allele groups.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The MHC class I chain-related (MIC) gene family constitutes an interesting genetic group that is related to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I genes and is located within the MHC. The MIC gene products, MICA and MICB, have similar structures to HLA class I molecules. So far over 50 MICA alleles have been reported, which suggests that this genetic system is highly polymorphic. In order to investigate further the extent of MICA polymorphism we have studied exons 2-5 of the MICA gene in over 200 homozygous and heterozygous cell lines. Altogether we have identified 11 new MICA alleles and report 13 new nucleotide variations, one in exon 2, four in exon 3, four in exon 4, two in intron 1, one in intron 4 and one (a deletion) in exon 4. Eight of the 10 exonic variations are non-synonymous. The deletion in exon 4 leads to a frame-shift mutation and the introduction of a repeat of 12 leucine residues encoded by the microsatellite in exon 5. This study provides further evidence that the MICA gene is highly polymorphic. In contrast to MHC class I molecules, the polymorphic sites in MICA are predominantly within the alpha2 and alpha3 domains. The distribution of synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions suggests that there is selection for the polymorphic positions, which therefore define potential functional sites in the protein. We were also able to determine the association between MICA and HLA-B alleles in a number of homozygous cell lines bearing extended haplotypes.
European Journal of Immunogenetics 03/2002; 29(1):35-46.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The number of infused cells is a very important factor in cord blood transplant (CBT) engraftment. Prior ex vivo expansion of aliquots of transplanted cord blood (CB) units is being investigated as a procedure to increase engraftment potential, but results are difficult to evaluate due to a lack of markers for assessing the contribution of expanded cells. We transplanted five patients, infusing the best available CB unit and cells from a second donor simultaneously. In two patients, these cells were obtained from another frozen CB unit by CD34(+)positive selection and culture expansion; the other three patients received uncultured highly purified haploidentical CD34(+) cells. The first two patients had DNA from the culture expanded CB cells detected only for a few days around day +11 when the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) was >200/microl; thereafter and when the ANC was <500/microl, only donor DNA from the uncultured CB was detected. For the other three patients, DNA analysis showed early and transient granulocyte engraftment of haploidentical cells, progressively replaced by the CB-derived granulocytes. We concluded that: (1) simultaneous infusion of lymphocyte-depleted HLA highly mismatched haematopoietic progenitor cells has not produced unfavourable effects for CBT; (2) the double transplant model is suitable for evaluating the engraftment potential of ex vivocultured CB cells in the clinical setting; (3) the culture conditions used did not result in early recovery of ANC; and (4) co-transplantation of purified uncultured HLA haploidentical CD34(+) cells may reduce the time of neutropenia following CBT.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 08/2001; 28(4):355-63. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a novel allele encoding HLA-A23: A*2306, discovered in an African-American individual, whose DNA was HLA typed as part of a quality control exercise. Direct sequencing typing identified A*2301 and A*6601 with an unexpected heterozygous peak at position 331. As position 331 is at the end of exon 2, near the priming site for the B3.6 anti-sense sequencing primer, the sequencing data is not optimal in this region and sequencing from the sense primer is relied on. In addition the new polymorphism was not at an expected polymorphic position and could easily have been missed, leading to the assignment of A*2301. However, data from reference strand mediated conformation analysis showed distinct new mobilities from those expected for A*2301 with two different fluorescent-labelled references, leading to the conclusion that the heterozygous peak seen at position 331 was a true variant of the A*2301 allele. A*2306 is most similar to A*2301 with 1 nucleotide difference at position 331 in exon 2 which was previously a conserved position. This mutation results in an amino acid substitution of glutamine for glutamate at residue 87.