BTL-II: a polymorphic locus with homology to the butyrophilin gene family, located at the border of the major histocompatibility complex class II and class III regions in human and mouse

Immunogenetics. 2000 Apr;51(4-5):373-82. doi: 10.1007/s002510050633.


Comparison of human and mouse genomic sequence at the border of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and class III regions revealed a locus encoding six exons with homology to the butyrophilin gene family and the location of a previously described gene, testis-specific basic protein (TSBP). We named the new locus BTL-II, for butyrophilin-like MHC class II associated. The six discernable exons of the BTL-II locus encode a small hydrophobic amino acid sequence (which may be a signal peptide), two immunoglobulin domains, a small 7-amino acid, heptad repeat-like exon, and a further two immunoglobulin domains. In mouse, an additional butyrophilin-like gene (NG10) is situated adjacent to BTL-II. Expression studies of the BTL-II locus in mouse showed that it is expressed in a range of gut tissues. We demonstrate that like many other genes from the MHC, BTL-II is polymorphic in a selection of diverse HLA haplotypes. In the light of the newly discovered locus, we revisit and discuss the possible origin of the butyrophilin gene family.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Butyrophilins
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Exons
  • Genes, MHC Class II / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / etiology
  • Intestines
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / genetics*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Tissue Distribution


  • BTNL2 protein, human
  • Butyrophilins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AL034394
  • GENBANK/Z84814