The minor MHC class I gene UDA of ducks is regulated by let-7 MicroRNA

Wing Fuk Chan, Julie A. Parks-Dely, Brad G. Magor, Katharine E. Magor

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6 Citations (Scopus)


In many nonmammalian vertebrates, the genomic organization of the MHC class I region leads to biased expression of a single classical MHC class I gene coevolving with TAP transporters, whereas class I genes are poorly expressed. This contrasts to the three codominantly expressed classical MHC class I genes in humans and mice. In a sequenced haplotype from White Pekin duck, Anas platyrhynchos, there is one predominantly expressed MHC class I, UAA, although they have five MHC class I genes in the complex, arranged TAP1-TAP2-UAA-UBA-UCA-UDA-UEA. The UAA gene, situated proximal to the TAP2 gene, is expressed at levels 10-fold greater than that of another expressed gene, UDA. Three duck MHC class I genes (UBA, UCA, and UEA) are predicted to be partially or completely inactivated by promoter defects, introduction of in-frame stop codon, or the lack of a polyadenylation signal. In this study, we confirm that UBA, UCA, and UEA are indeed inactivated through genetic defects at the promoter, whereas UAA and UDA have functionally equivalent promoters. To examine promoter accessibility, we performed bisulfite sequencing and show that none of the MHC class I promoters are inactivated by methylation. We determine that UDA is differentially regulated through its 39 untranslated region. Namely, expression of UDA is downregulated by let-7 microRNA, whereas the predominantly expressed MHC class I UAA is not. Regulation of UDA by let-7 microRNA suggests that the lower expression level is maintained for its function in immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1220
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

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