Center for Genetics, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA, USA.
We have updated the catalogue of common and well-documented (CWD) human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles to reflect current understanding of the prevalence of specific allele sequences. The original CWD catalogue designated 721 alleles at the HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DRB3/4/5, -DQA1, -DQB1, and -DPB1 loci in IMGT (IMmunoGeneTics)/HLA Database release 2.15.0 as being CWD. The updated CWD catalogue designates 1122 alleles at the HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DRB3/4/5, -DQA1, -DQB1, -DPA1 and -DPB1 loci as being CWD, and represents 14.3% of the HLA alleles in IMGT/HLA Database release 3.9.0. In particular, we identified 415 of these alleles as being 'common' (having known frequencies) and 707 as being 'well-documented' on the basis of ~140,000 sequence-based typing observations and available HLA haplotype data. Using these allele prevalence data, we have also assigned CWD status to specific G and P designations. We identified 147/151 G groups and 290/415 P groups as being CWD. The CWD catalogue will be updated on a regular basis moving forward, and will incorporate changes to the IMGT/HLA Database as well as empirical data from the histocompatibility and immunogenetics community. This version 2.0.0 of the CWD catalogue is available online at cwd.immunogenomics.org, and will be integrated into the Allele Frequencies Net Database, the IMGT/HLA Database and National Marrow Donor Program's bioinformatics web pages.
Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling history (AGP lab), University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
We present here the results of the Analysis of HLA Population Data (AHPD) project of the 16th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop (16IHIW) held in Liverpool in May-June 2012. Thanks to the collaboration of 25 laboratories from 18 different countries, HLA genotypic data for 59 new population samples (either well-defined populations or donor registry samples) were gathered and 55 were analysed statistically following HLA-NET recommendations. The new data included, among others, large sets of well-defined populations from north-east Europe and West Asia, as well as many donor registry data from European countries. The Gene[rate] computer tools were combined to create a Gene[rate] computer pipeline to automatically (i) estimate allele frequencies by an expectation-maximization algorithm accommodating ambiguities, (ii) estimate heterozygosity, (iii) test for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE), (iv) test for selective neutrality, (v) generate frequency graphs and summary statistics for each sample at each locus and (vi) plot multidimensional scaling (MDS) analyses comparing the new samples with previous IHIW data. Intrapopulation analyses show that HWE is rarely rejected, while neutrality tests often indicate a significant excess of heterozygotes compared with neutral expectations. The comparison of the 16IHIW AHPD data with data collected during previous workshops (12th-15th) shows that geography is an excellent predictor of HLA genetic differentiations for HLA-A, -B and -DRB1 loci but not for HLA-DQ, whose patterns are probably more influenced by natural selection. In Europe, HLA genetic variation clearly follows a north to south-east axis despite a low level of differentiation between European, North African and West Asian populations. Pacific populations are genetically close to Austronesian-speaking South-East Asian and Taiwanese populations, in agreement with current theories on the peopling of Oceania. Thanks to this project, HLA genetic variation is more clearly defined worldwide and better interpreted in relation to human peopling history and HLA molecular evolution.
Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling History, Department of Genetics and Evolution - Anthropology Unit, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
THIS STUDY AIMS AT INVESTIGATING THE HLA MOLECULAR VARIATION ACROSS SWITZERLAND IN ORDER TO DETERMINE POSSIBLE REGIONAL DIFFERENCES, WHICH WOULD BE HIGHLY RELEVANT TO SEVERAL PURPOSES: optimizing donor recruitment strategies in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), providing reliable reference data in HLA and disease association studies, and understanding the population genetic background(s) of this culturally heterogeneous country. HLA molecular data of more than 20,000 HSCT donors from 9-13 recruitment centers of the whole country were analyzed. Allele and haplotype frequencies were estimated by using new computer tools adapted to the heterogeneity and ambiguity of the data. Non-parametric and resampling statistical tests were performed to assess Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, selective neutrality and linkage disequilibrium among different loci, both in each recruitment center and in the whole national registry. Genetic variation was explored through genetic distance and hierarchical analysis of variance taking into account both geographic and linguistic subdivisions in Switzerland. The results indicate a heterogeneous genetic makeup of the Swiss population: first, allele frequencies estimated on the whole national registry strongly deviate from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, by contrast with the results obtained for individual centers; second, a pronounced differentiation is observed for Ticino, Graubunden, and, to a lesser extent, Wallis, suggesting that the Alps represent(ed) a barrier to gene flow; finally, although cultural (linguistic) boundaries do not represent a main genetic differentiation factor in Switzerland, the genetic relatedness between population from south-eastern Switzerland and Italy agrees with historical and linguistic data. Overall, this study justifies the maintenance of a decentralized donor recruitment structure in Switzerland allowing increasing the genetic diversity of the national-and hence global-donor registry. It also indicates that HLA data of local donor recruitment centers can be used as reference data in both epidemiological and population genetic studies focusing on the genetic history of present European populations.
Laboratory of Immunology and Histocompatibility, University Hospital Center "Mother Teresa", Tirana, Albania.
HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 genotyping was performed in a sample of Albanian population from Kosovo. The comparison of the respective allele frequencies through F (st) analysis resulted in a close relationship with the Albanians from Albania, the Bulgarians, FYROM Macedonians and Greeks, while the other neighbouring populations are slightly more distant.
University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, UK Riga Stradi...
HLA-NET (a European COST Action) aims at networking researchers working in bone marrow transplantation, epidemiology and population genetics to improve the molecular characterization of the HLA genetic diversity of human populations, with an expected strong impact on both public health and fundamental research. Such improvements involve finding consensual strategies to characterize human populations and samples and report HLA molecular typings and ambiguities; proposing user-friendly access to databases and computer tools and defining minimal requirements related to ethical aspects. The overall outcome is the provision of population genetic characterizations and comparisons in a standard way by all interested laboratories. This article reports the recommendations of four working groups (WG1-4) of the HLA-NET network at the mid-term of its activities. WG1 (Population definitions and sampling strategies for population genetics' analyses) recommends avoiding outdated racial classifications and population names (e.g. 'Caucasian') and using instead geographic and/or cultural (e.g. linguistic) criteria to describe human populations (e.g. 'pan-European'). A standard 'HLA-NET POPULATION DATA QUESTIONNAIRE' has been finalized and is available for the whole HLA community. WG2 (HLA typing standards for population genetics analyses) recommends retaining maximal information when reporting HLA typing results. Rather than using the National Marrow Donor Program coding system, all ambiguities should be provided by listing all allele pairs required to explain each genotype, according to the formats proposed in 'HLA-NET GUIDELINES FOR REPORTING HLA TYPINGS'. The group also suggests taking into account a preliminary list of alleles defined by polymorphisms outside the peptide-binding sites that may affect population genetic statistics because of significant frequencies. WG3 (Bioinformatic strategies for HLA population data storage and analysis) recommends the use of programs capable of dealing with ambiguous data, such as the 'gene[rate]' computer tools to estimate frequencies, test for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and selective neutrality on data containing any number and kind of ambiguities. WG4 (Ethical issues) proposes to adopt thorough general principles for any HLA population study to ensure that it conforms to (inter)national legislation or recommendations/guidelines. All HLA-NET guidelines and tools are available through its website http://hla-net.eu.
Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling History (AGP), Anthropology Unit of the Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva, , 12 rue Gustave-Revilliod, 1211 Geneva 4, Swi...
Human leucocyte antigen (HLA) loci have a complex evolution where both stochastic (e.g. genetic drift) and deterministic (natural selection) forces are involved. Owing to their extraordinary level of polymorphism, HLA genes are useful markers for reconstructing human settlement history. However, HLA variation often deviates significantly from neutral expectations towards an excess of genetic diversity. Because HLA molecules play a crucial role in immunity, this observation is generally explained by pathogen-driven-balancing selection (PDBS). In this study, we investigate the PDBS model by analysing HLA allelic diversity on a large database of 535 populations in relation to pathogen richness. Our results confirm that geographical distances are excellent predictors of HLA genetic differentiation worldwide. We also find a significant positive correlation between genetic diversity and pathogen richness at two HLA class I loci (HLA-A and -B), as predicted by PDBS, and a significant negative correlation at one HLA class II locus (HLA-DQB1). Although these effects are weak, as shown by a loss of significance when populations submitted to rapid genetic drift are removed from the analysis, the inverse relationship between genetic diversity and pathogen richness at different loci indicates that HLA genes have adopted distinct evolutionary strategies to provide immune protection in pathogen-rich environments.
Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Moleculaire et Imagerie de Synthese (AMIS), UMR 5288, CNRS, Universite de Toulouse III, Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France Centre de recherche litteraire et historique de l...
The Antemoro are an ethnic group from the southeast coast of Madagascar who claims an Arab origin. Cultural signatures of an Arabo-Islamic influence have been found in this region. Nevertheless, their origins are very contentious. Through this study, we want to determine whether this ethnic group had a particular GM profile that differentiated it from other Malagasy populations, and whether there were detectable genetic traces of the Arabo-Islamic migration. The Gm polymorphisms of IgG immunoglobulins was analysed in a population of Antemoro (N = 85), two other Malagasy populations from northern Fiherena (N = 82) and southern Fiherena (N = 50) and in a Comorian population (N = 171). This last group was used to enlarge the database for genetic comparisons. Results revealed significant contributions from Africa (60%, 0.092 </=F(ST) </= 0.280) and Southeast Asia (40%, 0.043 </= F(ST) </= 0.590) to the Antemoro genetic pool. No direct genetic relationships with the Middle East. These results bring new insights into the population history of Madagascar.
Department of Genetics and Evolution, Anthropology unit, Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and peopling history, University of Geneva, 12 rue Gustave-Revilliod, Geneva, Switzerland. alicia.sanch...
The genes coding for the main molecules involved in the human immune system--immunoglobulins, human leucocyte antigen (HLA) molecules and killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR)--exhibit a very high level of polymorphism that reveals remarkable frequency variation in human populations. 'Genetic marker' (GM) allotypes located in the constant domains of IgG antibodies have been studied for over 40 years through serological typing, leading to the identification of a variety of GM haplotypes whose frequencies vary sharply from one geographic region to another. An impressive diversity of HLA alleles, which results in amino acid substitutions located in the antigen-binding region of HLA molecules, also varies greatly among populations. The KIR differ between individuals according to both gene content and allelic variation, and also display considerable population diversity. Whereas the molecular evolution of these polymorphisms has most likely been subject to natural selection, principally driven by host-pathogen interactions, their patterns of genetic variation worldwide show significant signals of human geographic expansion, demographic history and cultural diversification. As current developments in population genetic analysis and computer simulation improve our ability to discriminate among different--either stochastic or deterministic--forces acting on the genetic evolution of human populations, the study of these systems shows great promise for investigating both the peopling history of modern humans in the time since their common origin and human adaptation to past environmental (e.g. pathogenic) changes. Therefore, in addition to mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome, microsatellites, single nucleotide polymorphisms and other markers, immunogenetic polymorphisms represent essential and complementary tools for anthropological studies.
Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics, and Peopling History (AGP), Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics, and Peopling History (AGP), Anthropology Unit, Department of Genetics and Evolution, Universi...
The Austroasiatic linguistic family disputes its origin between two geographically distant regions of Asia, India, and Southeast Asia, respectively. As genetic studies based on classical and gender-specific genetic markers provided contradictory results to this debate thus far, we investigated the HLA diversity (HLA-A, -B, and -DRB1 loci) of an Austroasiatic Munda population from Northeast India and its relationships with other populations from India and Southeast Asia. Because molecular methods currently used to test HLA markers often provide ambiguous results due to the high complexity of this polymorphism, we applied two different techniques (reverse PCR-SSO typing on microbeads arrays based on Luminex technology, and PCR-SSP typing) to type the samples. After validating the resulting frequency distributions through the original statistical method described in our companion article ( Nunes et al. 2011 ), we compared the HLA genetic profile of the sampled Munda to those of other Asiatic populations, among which Dravidian and Indo-European-speakers from India and populations from East and Southeast Asia speaking languages belonging to different linguistic families. We showed that the Munda from Northeast India exhibit a peculiar genetic profile with a reduced level of HLA diversity compared to surrounding Indian populations. They also exhibit less diversity than Southeast Asian populations except at locus DRB1. Several analyses using genetic distances indicate that the Munda are much more closely related to populations from the Indian subcontinent than to Southeast Asian populations speaking languages of the same Austroasiatic linguistic family. On the other hand, they do not share a closer relationship with Dravidians compared with Indo-Europeans, thus arguing against the idea that the Munda share a common and ancient Indian origin with Dravidians. Our results do not favor either a scenario where the Munda would be representative of an ancestral Austroasiatic population giving rise to an eastward Austroasiatic expansion to Southeast Asia. Rather, their peculiar genetic profile is better explained by a decrease in genetic diversity through genetic drift from an ancestral population having a genetic profile similar to present-day Austroasiatic populations from Southeast Asia (thus suggesting a possible southeastern origin), followed by intensive gene flow with neighboring Indian populations. This conclusion is in agreement with archaeological and linguistic information. The history of the Austroasiatic family represents a fascinating example where complex interactions among culturally distinct human populations occurred in the past.
Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling History (AGP), Anthropology Unit, Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Jose.DeAbreuNunes@unige.ch
The development of molecular typing techniques applied to the study of population genetic diversity originates data with increasing precision but at the cost of some ambiguities. As distinct techniques may produce distinct kinds of ambiguities, a crucial issue is to assess the differences between frequency distributions estimated from data produced by alternative techniques for the same sample. To that aim, we developed a resampling scheme that allows evaluating, by statistical means, the significance of the difference between two frequency distributions. The same approach is then shown to be applicable to test selective neutrality when only sample frequencies are known. The use of these original methods is presented here through an application to the genetic study of a Munda human population sample, where three different HLA loci were typed using two different molecular methods (reverse PCR-SSO typing on microbeads arrays based on Luminex technology and PCR-SSP typing), as described in details in the companion article by Riccio et al. [The Austroasiatic Munda population from India and its enigmatic origin: An HLA diversity study. Hum. Biol. 38:405-435 (2011)]. The differences between the frequency estimates of the two typing techniques were found to be smaller than those resulting from sampling. Overall, we show that using a resampling scheme in validating frequency estimates is effective when alternative frequency estimates are available. Moreover, resampling appears to be the unique way to test selective neutrality when only frequency data are available to describe the genetic structure of populations.
Department of Anthropology, Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling History, University of Geneva, Switzerland. firstname.lastname@example.org
The peopling of East Asia by the first modern humans is strongly debated from a genetic point of view. A north-south genetic differentiation observed in this geographic area suggests different hypotheses on the origin of Northern East Asian (NEA) and Southern East Asian (SEA) populations. In this study, the highly polymorphic HLA markers were used to investigate East Asian genetic diversity. Our database covers a total of about 127,000 individuals belonging to 84 distinct Asian populations tested for HLA-A, -B, -C, -DPB1, and/or -DRB1 alleles. Many Chinese populations are represented, which have been sampled in the last 30 years but rarely taken into account in international research due to their data published in Chinese. By using different statistical methods, we found a significant correlation between genetics and geography and relevant genetic clines in East Asia. Additionally, HLA alleles appear to be unevenly distributed: some alleles observed in NEA populations are widespread at the global level, while some alleles observed in SEA populations are virtually unique in Asia. The HLA genetic variation in East Asia is also characterized by a decrease of diversity from north to south, although a reverse pattern appears when one only focuses on alleles restricted to Asia. These results reflect a more complex migration history than that illustrated by the "southern-origin" hypothesis, as genetic contribution of ancient human migrations through a northern route has probably been quite substantial. We thus suggest a new overlapping model where northward and southward opposite migrations occurring at different periods overlapped.
Department of Anthropology, Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling History, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
The peopling of East Asia by the first modern humans is strongly debated from a genetic point of view. A north-south genetic differentiation observed in this geographic area suggests different hypotheses on the origin of Northern East Asian (NEA) and Southern East Asian (SEA) populations. In this study, the highly polymorphic HLA markers were used to investigate East Asian genetic diversity. Our database covers a total of about 127,000 individuals belonging to 84 distinct Asian populations tested for HLA-A, -B, -C, -DPB1, and/or -DRB1 alleles. Many Chinese populations are represented, which have been sampled in the last 30 years but rarely taken into account in international research due to their data published in Chinese. By using different statistical methods, we found a significant correlation between genetics and geography and relevant genetic clines in East Asia. Additionally, HLA alleles appear to be unevenly distributed: some alleles observed in NEA populations are widespread at the global level, while some alleles observed in SEA populations are virtually unique in Asia. The HLA genetic variation in East Asia is also characterized by a decrease of diversity from north to south, although a reverse pattern appears when one only focuses on alleles restricted to Asia. These results reflect a more complex migration history than that illustrated by the "southern-origin" hypothesis, as genetic contribution of ancient human migrations through a northern route has probably been quite substantial. We thus suggest a new overlapping model where northward and southward opposite migrations occurring at different periods overlapped. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2011. (c) 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.