HLA-C alleles were characterized by a polymerase chain reaction-sequence specific oligonucleotide probe (PCR-SSOP) hybridization protocol in a sample of 120 Iranians from Tehran. A total of 23 alleles were identified with the four most predominant--Cw*0401, Cw*0602, Cw*1202, and Cw*0701/06--accounting for almost 50% of HLA-C alleles. A comparison of HLA-C diversity among several populations indicates that Iranians stand at an intermediate genetic position between Europeans and Africans, an observation that may be related to their geographical location at a continental crossroads. The results also reveal a very high correlation between genetic and geographic distances on a global scale. A total of 30 HLA-C-DRB1 haplotypes were found in the Iranians, with the highest frequencies of 6.6% and 6.04 % being for Cw*0602-DRB1*0701 and Cw*1202-DRB1*1502, respectively.
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