Human immunology

Limited polymorphism of the HLA-DQA2 promoter and identification of a variant octamer.

PMID 8026991


Previous studies have suggested that the HLA-DQA2 gene may be associated with IDDM. The apparently limited allelism at this locus prompted us to investigate whether this association might be with the level of gene expression rather than with specific alleles. The proximal promoter region of HLA-DQA2 was sequenced in three homozygous DR4;DQ8 subjects with IDDM, six homozygous DR3;DQ2 subjects (three healthy controls and three with IDDM), and selected DR4 and DR6 cell lines. This 388-bp region encompassed the known control W/Z/H/S, X, and Y boxes and included a previously unremarked variant octamer sequence 40 bp upstream of the transcription start site. Only one polymorphic site was present among these 15 sequences, found in one DR3;DQ2 subject and a DR6;DQ6 cell line. This indicates that any disease association with HLA-DQA2, at least among DR3;DQ2 individuals, cannot be accounted for solely by polymorphism of the proximal promoter region.