Gene map of the extended human MHC

Nat Rev Genet. 2004 Dec;5(12):889-99. doi: 10.1038/nrg1489.


The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is the most important region in the vertebrate genome with respect to infection and autoimmunity, and is crucial in adaptive and innate immunity. Decades of biomedical research have revealed many MHC genes that are duplicated, polymorphic and associated with more diseases than any other region of the human genome. The recent completion of several large-scale studies offers the opportunity to assimilate the latest data into an integrated gene map of the extended human MHC. Here, we present this map and review its content in relation to paralogy, polymorphism, immune function and disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 6
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex*
  • Multigene Family
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics


  • RNA, Transfer