MIC-A allele profiles and HLA class I associations in Behçet's disease

Immunogenetics. 1999 Jul;49(7-8):613-7. doi: 10.1007/s002510050656.


Recently a new family of non-classical MHC molecules, the MHC class I chain-related protein (MIC), encoded by genes located in the major histocompatability complex have been identified. On the basis of the location of MIC genes and the structure and expression of MIC molecules it has been postulated that MIC may be a susceptibility factor in Behçet's disease (BD). We investigated the association of the 16 described external domain alleles and the transmembrane triplet repeats of MIC-A with BD in a Middle Eastern population. DNA from ninety-five patients and 102 age- and sex-matched controls were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction using allele specific primers. Our results show an increase of MIC-A*009 in the BD patient group 44/95 (46%) compared with controls 24/102 (24%) (chi2=11.3, OR=2.8, P=0.00078). MIC-A*009 was also found to be strongly associated with HLA-B51 in the patients 39/44 (88%) when compared with controls 10/24 (42%) (chi2=4, P=0.04). MIC-A*009 was also found in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-B52, but only in controls. The A6 form of a MIC-A transmembrane triplet repeat was found to be significantly raised in the patients (80/95; 84%;) compared with controls (58/102, 57%) (chi2=17.5, OR=4, P=0.000028). Although the MIC-A associations described are highly significant, the association with HLA-B51 independently remains the most significant factor (chi2=56.8, P<10(-6)). The data suggests that as both MIC-A*009 and A6 are in strong linkage disequilibrium with HLA-B51, they are unlikely to be the susceptibility gene for BD but may be markers for additional risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alleles*
  • Behcet Syndrome / genetics*
  • Behcet Syndrome / immunology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation
  • HLA-A Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-B Antigens / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Trinucleotide Repeats


  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • MHC class I-related chain A