Extended gene map reveals tripartite motif, C-type lectin, and Ig superfamily type genes within a subregion of the chicken MHC-B affecting infectious disease

J Immunol. 2007 Jun 1;178(11):7162-72. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.178.11.7162.


MHC haplotypes have a remarkable influence on whether tumors form following infection of chickens with oncogenic Marek's disease herpesvirus. Although resistance to tumor formation has been mapped to a subregion of the chicken MHC-B region, the gene or genes responsible have not been identified. A full gene map of the subregion has been lacking. We have expanded the MHC-B region gene map beyond the 92-kb core previously reported for another haplotype revealing the presence of 46 genes within 242 kb in the Red Jungle Fowl haplotype. Even though MHC-B is structured differently, many of the newly revealed genes are related to loci typical of the MHC in other species. Other MHC-B loci are homologs of genes found within MHC paralogous regions (regions thought to be derived from ancient duplications of a primordial immune defense complex where genes have undergone differential silencing over evolutionary time) on other chromosomes. Still others are similar to genes that define the NK complex in mammals. Many of the newly mapped genes display allelic variability and fall within the MHC-B subregion previously shown to affect the formation of Marek's disease tumors and hence are candidates for genes conferring resistance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs / genetics
  • Animals
  • Chickens / genetics
  • Chickens / immunology*
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, MHC Class I*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulins / genetics*
  • Lectins, C-Type / genetics*
  • Marek Disease / genetics
  • Marek Disease / immunology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Lectins, C-Type

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB268588