A highly polymorphic (CA)n microsatellite marker (DQCAR), located between the DQA1 and the DQB1 genes, was characterized in four ethnic groups. Based on length polymorphism, 12 alleles could be defined. The marker is located 1- to 2-kb telomeric to the DQB1 gene and 10 kb centromeric to the DQA1 gene and was shown to be in tight linkage disequilibrium with HLA-DQ. Analysis of the linkage disequilibrium pattern revealed little additional diversity in DQ1-associated haplotypes. Almost all DQ1 subjects examined were DQCAR 103 or DQCAR 107 (13 and 15 CA repeats, respectively). In contrast, significant haplotypic diversity was observed for most DQ2-, DQ3-, and DQ4-associated haplotypes. These haplotypes often had longer allele sizes (DQCAR > 111, more than 17 CA repeats) and more DQCAR alleles per haplotype. These haplotypes also carried DQCAR alleles of different sizes, even though they bore the same DQA1 and DQB1 alleles, and sometimes the same DRB1 allele as well. These results indicate that DQCAR could be a useful marker to better define disease associations with HLA. Our results are also consistent with the hypothesis that CAR alleles with higher numbers of repeats have higher mutation rates and that recombination within the HLA-DR/DQ region is haplotype dependent.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QL39300004
View details for PubMedID 7759308