HLA-DR,DQ sequence polymorphisms in Polynesians, Micronesians, and Javanese

Xiaojiang Gao, Paul Zimmet, Susan W. Serjeantson

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The origins of the Polynesians remain an enigma. Linguistic reconstructions of proto-Austronesian languages suggest a shared origin for Polynesians, Micronesians, and Javanese with dispersal from northern Borneo and Sulawesi. Analysis of 810 chromosomes for nucleotide sequence polymorphism at HLA-DRB1, DRB3, DRB5, DQA1, and DQB1 loci in Polynesian (Rarotonga, Western Samoa, and Niue), Micronesian (Nauru and Kiribati), and Javanese populations showed virtually no overlap of HLA class II haplotypes between contemporary Polynesians and Javanese. Further, there were marked differences in population distributions of some HLA-DRB1 alleles that could not be distinguished in earlier serologic or restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) studies, e.g., for DR12, DRB1* 1201 had a frequency of 15%-30% in Polynesians (1% in Micronesians and Javanese), whereas DRB1*1202 had a frequency of 28%-38% in Micronesians and 51% in Javanese (1% in Polynesians). A novel DR6-related allele, DRB1*1408, was found in all three Polynesian study populations. The Polynesian HLA class II genetic repertoire is not readily derived from the island Southeast Asian gene pool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

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