It is early days in the study of KIR alleles but one trusts that the finding of selleck kinase inhibitor the new alleles can be independently confirmed (sequencing of alleles of the KIR genes is problematic because of similarities in the sequences of alleles from different genes and the size of the introns making it difficult to sequence from genomic DNA) and their possible clinical significance can be ascertained before we find ourselves in the same situation as for HLA alleles. There, 40% of HLA alleles have never been reported again after the report of their
initial sequence in one individual.57 A report of allele frequency data in a Japanese population showed that for the KIR genes KIR2DL1, KIR2DL2/2DL3, KIR2DL4, KIR3DL1/S1, KIR3DL2 and KIR2DS4, one allele at each gene was at a very high-frequency (44–89%) compared with the next frequent allele.58 This is not the case in many other populations,55 emphasizing the conclusion reached by Parham and colleagues of the skewed distribution of KIR variants in the Japanese population, which reflected a distinct history of directional and balancing selection.58 Linkage disequilibrium has been reported between the alleles
in a study examining the alleles of KIR2DL1, -2DL3, -3DL1 and -3DL2 in 34 families.59 Strong linkage disequilibrium existed between KIR2DL1 and -2DL3 alleles in the centromeric half and between KIR3DL1 and KIR3DL2 alleles in the telomeric half, but these two sets of pairs had little linkage disequilibrium between them and appeared to define the two halves of the KIR gene complex. This study was the Poziotinib first to show that in addition to gene Janus kinase (JAK) content, diversity of KIR was the result of allele polymorphism and the combination of gene content and allele differences resulted in the vast majority of individuals having different KIR genotypes. A further study
on individuals from North India determining only the alleles of KIR2DL1, -2DL3, -2DL5, -3DL1 and -3DL2 showed that all individuals had different KIR genotypes.43 In the Northern Ireland family study there were 188 (90%) different genotypes allowing for allele information. It is worth emphasizing that the Northern Ireland population is very homogeneous and drawn from a Caucasian population of 1·5 million, with very little immigration. Some alleles of the framework genes occurred more frequently on B haplotypes than A haplotypes Most notable of these was the occurrence of KIR2DL4*00501 on 43·6% of B but absent from A and KIR3DL2*007 on 43·6% of B but only 1·3% of A. In those genes that have been thought to be on A haplotypes (KIR2DL1, -2DL3, -3DL1, -2DS4) but that we found at a high occurrence on B haplotypes, there was little difference in the frequency of specific alleles on an A compared to a B haplotype, except the absence of KIR2DL1*00401 on A haplotypes, this allele being the most common allele of KIR2DL1 on B haplotypes at 27·7%.