We have applied cDNA hybridization selection to nine YACs spanning 3 Mb of genomic DNA from a region centromeric to HLA-A to the histone cluster that lies telomeric to the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC). In addition to Class I genes and pseudogenes, we describe over 63 genes and 23 additional expressed sequence tags distributed throughout the region. Many of the full-length genes belong to gene families. Prominent among these are a group of genes encoding proteins showing homology to the carboxylterminal sequences of butyrophilin and an additional group of zinc finger genes. We also detected several previously undefined genes that are specifically expressed in cells of the immune system, indicating a more complex role of the MHC in the immune response than has been appreciated.
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