Within the human MHC region larger stretches of conserved DNA, called conserved ancestral haplotypes exist. However, many MHC haplotypes contain only fragments of an ancestral haplotype. Little is known, however, on relative distribution of the ancestral haplotypes to their fragments. Therefore we determined the frequency of carriers of the whole ancestral haplotype 8.1 (AH8.1) and its fragments in 127 healthy Hungarian people, 101 healthy Ohioian females, and in nine Hungarian families. The HLA-DQ2, HLA-DR3(17), RAGE -429C allele, the mono-S-C4B genotype, the HSP70-2 1267G allele and the TNF -308A (TNF2) allele were used as markers of the AH8.1. Frequency of carriers of the whole AH8.1 and its fragments was similar in the both populations. 18% of the subjects carried the whole AH8.1 in at least one chromosome, while 17-20%, 36-39%, and 24-29%, respectively carried two or three constituents of the haplotype, only one constituent or none of them. Similar results were obtained in the family study. In addition, marked differences were found in the relationship of the constituents' alleles to the whole AH8.1. In both populations, 29%, 50-59%, 52-56% and 76-96%, respectively of the carriers of HSP70-2 1267G, RAGE-429C, TNF2, and mono-S carriers carried the whole 8.1 haplotype. These findings may have important implications for studies of the disease associations with different MHC ancestral haplotypes.
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