Tissue Antigens. 2002 May;59(5):397-406. Related Articles, Links


HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 polymorphisms in Pacific Islands populations.

Velickovic ZM, Delahunt B, Carter JM.

Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wellington, New Zealand. zvelickovic@arcbs.redcross.org.au

Allele frequency distributions of the HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 genes were investigated in four Pacific Islands populations from the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tokelau and Tonga. Limited diversity was observed for both the HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 loci. Five HLA-DRB1 alleles were observed to be the most frequent amongst all the studied Pacific Islands populations. They were: HLA-DRB1*0403, HLA-DRB1*08032, HLA-DRB1*09012, HLA-DRB1*11011 and HLA-DRB1*1201. Cook Islanders had the largest number of low frequency DRB1 alleles followed by Samoans, Tokelauans and Tongans, most of which may be attributed to reported non-Polynesian admixture. The most frequently observed DQB1 alleles in the four studied Pacific Islands populations were those of the DQ3 subgroup of alleles HLA-DQB1*03011, HLA-DQB1*0302 and HLA-DQB1*03032 as well as HLA-DQB1*05031 and HLA-DQB1*06011. Cook Islanders had the highest number of rare HLA-DQB1 alleles, the distibution being similar to that of the HLA-DRB1 allele. While, in general, the values of homozygosity for DRB1 and DQB1 were observed to be lower then expected under neutrality, a statistical significance was observed in Tongans, Samoans and Tokelauans for the DQB1 locus and in Tongans for the DRB1 locus. Differences were observed between allele frequency distributions for Tokelauans compared to the other three populations. This was also demonstrated by principal component analysis of DRB1 and DQB1 allele frequencies, which separated the Tokelauan population from Cook Islanders, Tongans and Samoans. Tongans and Samoans were separate from the other Polynesian populations in the phylogenetic trees. Observed allele and haplotype frequencies were found to be in agreement with previously published HLA-DRB and HLA-DQB Polynesian data.