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Szöts, Hannelore, Riethmüller, Gert, Weiss, Elisabeth H. and Meo, Tommaso (1986): Complete sequence of HLA-B27 cDNA identified through the characterization of structural markers unique to the HLA-A, -B, and -C allelic series. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA, Vol. 83: pp. 1428-1432 [PDF, 1MB]

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Antigen HLA-B27 is a high-risk genetic factor with respect to a group of rheumatoid disorders, especially ankylosing spondylitis. A cDNA library was constructed from an autozygous B-cell line expressing HLA-B27, HLA-Cw1, and the previously cloned HLA-A2 antigen. Clones detected with an HLA probe' were isolated and sorted into homology groups by differential hybridization and restriction maps. Nucleotide sequencing allowed the unambiguous assignment of cDNAs to HL4-A, -B, and -C loci. The HLA-B27 mRNA has the structural features and the codon variability typical of an HLA class I transcript but it specifies two uncommon amino acid replacements: a cysteine in position 67 and a serine in position 131. The latter substitution may have functional consequences, because it occurs in a conserved region and at a position invariably occupied by a species-specific arginine in humans and lysine in mice. The availability of the complete sequence of HLA-B27 and of the partial sequence of HLA-Cw1 allows the recognition of locus-specific sequence markers, particularly, but not exclusively, in the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains.

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