An extended HLA-D region haplotype associated with celiac disease.


Celiac disease has one of the strongest associations with HLA (human leukocyte antigen) class II markers of the known HLA-linked diseases. This association is primarily with the class II serologic specificities HLA-DR3 and -DQw2. We previously described a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) characterized by the presence of a 4.0-kilobase Rsa I fragment derived from an HLA class II beta-chain gene, which distinguishes the class II HLA haplotype of celiac disease patients from those of many serologically matched controls. We now report the isolation of this beta-chain gene from a bacteriophage genomic library constructed from the DNA of a celiac disease patient. Based on restriction mapping and differential hybridization with class II cDNA and oligonucleotide probes, this gene was identified as one encoding an HLA-DP beta chain. This celiac disease-associated HLA-DP beta-chain gene was flanked by HLA-DP alpha-chain genes and, therefore, was probably in its normal chromosomal location. The HLA-DP alpha-chain genes of celiac disease patients also were studied by RFLP analysis; 84% of HLA-DR3, -DQw2 patients had a 16-kb Xba I fragment that was present in only 36% of HLA-DR3, -DQw2 controls. Moreover, 79% of these patients had both alpha- and beta-chain polymorphisms in contrast to 27% of controls. Thus, celiac disease is associated with a subset of HLA-DR3, -DQw2 haplotypes characterized by HLA-DP alpha- and beta-chain gene RFLPs. Within the celiac-disease patient population, the joint segregation of these HLA-DP genes with those encoding the serologic specificities HLA-DR3 and -DQw2 indicates: (i) that the class II HLA haplotype associated with celiac disease is extended throughout the entire HLA-D region, and (ii) that celiac-disease susceptibility genes may reside as far centromeric on this haplotype as the HLA-DP subregion.

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