HLA class I and class II frequencies in patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma from southeastern Spain: the role of HLA-C in disease prognosis

Immunogenetics. 2006 Jan;57(12):926-33. doi: 10.1007/s00251-005-0065-2. Epub 2005 Dec 20.


Available data have led to a controversy on the relationship between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and cutaneous malignant melanoma susceptibility or prognosis. Moreover, the influence of HLA-C on melanoma has not yet been well established. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to analyze the possible influence of the HLA system on melanoma susceptibility and prognosis in the Spanish population. For this purpose, HLA-A and HLA-B serotyping and HLA-C, HLA-DRB1, and HLA-DQB1 genotyping by polymerase chain reactions using sequence-specific oligonucleotide (PCR-SSO) and sequence-specific primer (PCR-SSP) were performed in 174 melanoma patients and 227 ethnically matched controls. The number of controls was increased up to 356 for HLA-C typing. Patients were stratified according to the histological subtypes of melanoma, sentinel lymph node status, tumor thickness, and ulceration of primary lesion. No HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-DRB1, or HLA-DQB1 relationship with melanoma was observed for susceptibility or disease prognosis. However, the analysis of HLA-C locus showed that individuals homozygous for HLA-C(Lys80) were significantly more frequent within the patient than the control group. Remarkably, individuals homozygous for group 2 HLA-C alleles (HLA-C(Lys80)) seem to be associated with metastatic progression of melanoma. In contrast, we found a negative association between group 1 HLA-C alleles (HLA-C(Asn80)) and disease susceptibility or metastasis development. In conclusion, although an association with HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-DRB1, or HLA-DQB1 was not demonstrated, the study of the HLA-C locus revealed that the analysis of the dimorphism at position 80 in the alpha1 helix may help to evaluate the risk and prognosis of melanoma in our population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genes, MHC Class I*
  • Genes, MHC Class II*
  • HLA-C Antigens / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Spain


  • HLA-C Antigens