Structure and expression of class I MHC genes in the miniature swine

D. S. Singer*, R. Ehrlich, L. Satz, W. Frels, J. Bluestone, R. Hodes, S. Rudikoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The genome of the miniature swine, unlike other species, contains a relatively small class I MHC gene family, consisting of only seven members. This provides an excellent system in which to identify and characterize the regulatory mechanisms which operate to both coordinately and differentially regulate the expression of a multi-gene family. The structure of class I SLA genes, like other class I genes, consists of eight exons encoding a leader sequence, three extracytoplasmic domains, a transmembrane domain and intracytoplasmic domains. Despite the common structure, two sub-families of class I genes can be distinguished within the SLA family. One, containing the closely related PD1 and PD14 genes, encodes the classical transplantation antigens. Another contains the highly divergent PD6; the functions of the products of this subfamily, if any, are not known. The class I SLA genes share some common regulatory mechanisms, as evidenced by the fact that all three genes analyzed are transcribed in mouse L cells. Furthermore, interferon treatment of transfected mouse L cells enhances expression of all three genes. Both PD1 and PD6 are transcribed in vivo, where the highest levels of expression are observed in lymphoid tissues. Superimposed on the common patterns of class I gene expression are distinct ones, as evidenced by the findings that PD1 is preferentially expressed in B cells, whereas PD6 is preferentially expressed in T cells. These differeneces may reflect the extensive divergence of the 5′ flanking sequences of these genes. Future studies will be aimed at elucidating the precise molecular interactions and mechanisms which give rise to the observed differential expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-221
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Dec 1987
Externally publishedYes


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