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KIR genes polymorphism in Argentinean Caucasoid and Amerindian populations


Leonardo Fainboim
División Inmunogenética
Hospital de Clínicas ‘José de San Martín’
Facultad de Medicina
Universidad de Buenos Aires
Av. Córdoba 2351 (1120)
Buenos Aires
Tel: +54 11 5950 8756
Fax: +54 11 5950 8758


In natural killer cells, killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) loci code for either inhibitory or activating receptors, and according to the number of genes present in each individual, it is possible to identify a high rate of polymorphism in the populations. We performed KIR typing by polymerase chain reaction–sequence-specific oligonucleotide probing in 402 Argentinean Caucasoid and in two Amerindian populations (101 Wichis and 54 Chiriguanos) from the North of Argentina. KIR2DL4, KIR3DL2, KIR3DL3 and KIR3DP1 were always present, whereas the frequencies of KIR2DL1, KIR2DL3, KIR2DS4, KIR3DL1 and KIR2DP1 ranged between 84% and 96%. The frequencies of KIR2DS2, KIR2DL2, KIR2DL5, KIR2DS5, KIR2DS1 and KIR3DS1 ranged between 41% and 62%. The KIR2DS3 with a frequency of 29% in Argentinean Caucasoid population was present at a very low frequency in Amerindian populations. Haplotype segregation studies performed in 10 Wichi families showed the presence of only three haplotypes: A, B5 and B1. The Amerindian populations showed several similarities to Asian but not to Caucasoid populations with regard to the frequency of KIR2DS3, full-length KIR2DS4 gene and KIR2DL4 alleles.