Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 2017 10 18() pii 10.1016/j.meegid.2017.10.015
The northern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina) has been identified as an independent species from the pig-tailed macaque group. The species is a promising animal model for HIV/AIDS pathogenesis and vaccine studies due to susceptibility to HIV-1. However, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genetics in northern pig-tailed macaques remains poorly understood. We have previously studied the MHC class I genes in northern pig-tailed macaques and identified 39 novel alleles. Here, we describe the MHC class II alleles in all six classical loci (DPA, DPB, DQA, DQB, DRA, and DRB) from northern pig-tailed macaques using a sequence-based typing method for the first time. A total of 60 MHC-II alleles were identified of which 27 were shared by other macaque species. Additionally, northern pig-tailed macaques expressed a single DRA and multiple DRB genes similar to the expression in humans and other macaque species. Polymorphism and positive selection were detected, and phylogenetic analysis suggested the presence of a common ancestor in human and northern pig-tailed macaque MHC class II allelic lineages at the DQA, DQB, and DRB loci. The characterization of full-length MHC class II alleles in this study significantly improves understanding of the immunogenetics of northern pig-tailed macaques and provides the groundwork for future animal model studies.