Comparison of allele O sequences of the human and non-human primate ABO system

Immunogenetics. 1999 Jun;49(6):517-26. doi: 10.1007/s002510050529.


Like humans, non-human primates express the antigens A and B of the ABO histoblood group system. In chimpanzees, only A and O types are found, while the types A, B, AB, and O are found in macaques. The sequences of exons 6 and 7 of two chimpanzee O alleles (Odel and O(x), two macaque species O alleles (rhesus monkey and crab-eating macaque), and sequences of exon 7 of two major chimpanzee A alleles (A1ch and A2ch) were established. The sequences of cDNAs corresponding to the chimpanzee and rhesus monkey O alleles were characterized from exon 1 to 7 and from exon 4 to 7, respectively. A comparison of our results with ABO gene sequences already published by others demonstrates that human and non-human primate O alleles are species-specific and result from independent silencing mutations. These observations reinforce the hypothesis that the maintenance of the ABO gene polymorphism in primates reflects convergent evolution more than transpecies inheritance of ancestor alleles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / classification
  • ABO Blood-Group System / genetics*
  • Alleles*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pan troglodytes
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Primates
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • DNA, Complementary

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF071830
  • GENBANK/AF071831
  • GENBANK/AF094692
  • GENBANK/AF094693
  • GENBANK/AF094694
  • GENBANK/AF094695
  • GENBANK/AH008219
  • GENBANK/AH008220