An H-YDb epitope is encoded by a novel mouse Y chromosome gene

Nat Genet. 1996 Dec;14(4):474-8. doi: 10.1038/ng1296-474.


Rejection of male tissue grafts by genotypically identical female mice has been explained by the existence of a male-specific transplantation antigen, H-Y (ref. 1), but the molecular nature of H-Y antigen has remained obscure. Hya, the murine locus controlling H-Y expression, has been localized to delta Sxrb, a deletion interval of the short arm of the Y chromosome. In mice, H-Y antigen comprises at least four distinct epitopes, each recognized by a specific T lymphocyte clone. It has recently been shown that one of these epitopes, H-YKk, is a peptide encoded by the Y-linked Smcy gene, presented at the cell surface with the H-2Kk major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule. However, deletion mapping and the analysis of variable inactivation of H-Y epitopes has suggested that the Hya locus may be genetically complex. Here we describe a novel mouse Y chromosome gene which we call Uty (ubiquitously transcribed tetratricopeptide repeat gene on the Y chromosome). We identify the peptide WMHHNMDLI derived from the UTY protein as an H-Y epitope, H-YDb. Our data formally demonstrate that H-Y antigen is the product of more than one gene on the Y chromosome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cell Line
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Epitopes / biosynthesis
  • Epitopes / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fetus / metabolism
  • H-Y Antigen / biosynthesis
  • H-Y Antigen / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / immunology
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Transfection
  • Y Chromosome*


  • Epitopes
  • H-Y Antigen
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Proteins
  • Uty protein, mouse

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Y09222