Allelic diversity within the high frequency Mamu-A2*05/Mane-A2*05 (Mane-A*06)/Mafa-A2*05 family of macaque MHC-A loci. Academic Article uri icon


  • Macaque species serve as important animal models of human infection and immunity. To more fully scrutinize their potential in both the analysis of disease pathogenesis and vaccine development, it is necessary to characterize the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I loci of Macaca mulatta (Mamu), Macaca nemestrina (Mane), and Macaca fascicularis (Mafa) at the genomic level. The oligomorphic Mamu-A2*05/Mane-A2*05 (previously known as Mane-A*06) family of macaque MHC-A alleles has recently been shown to be present at high frequency in both Indian rhesus and pig-tailed macaque populations. Using a locus-specific amplification and direct DNA typing methodology, we have additionally found that the locus encoding this family is very prevalent (75%) among a sampling of 182 Chinese rhesus macaques and has a high prevalence (80%) within a larger, independent cohort of 309 pig-tailed macaques. Interestingly, among the Chinese rhesus macaques, only six alleles previously identified in Indian-origin animals were observed, while three recently identified in Chinese-origin animals and 25 new alleles were characterized. Among the pig-tailed macaques, we observed 1 previously known (Mane-A*06) and 19 new alleles. Examination of the orthologous locus in a preliminary sampling of 30 cynomolgus macaques showed an even higher presence (87%) of Mafa-A2*05 family alleles, with 5 previously identified and 15 new alleles characterized. The continued discovery of novel alleles and thus further diversity within the Mamu-A2*05/Mane-A2*05/Mafa-A2*05 family indicates that this MHC-A locus, although highly conserved across the three species of macaques, has remained a dynamic entity during evolution.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008