Abstract Human killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors are expressed in natural killer cells and subsets of T lymphocytes. They regulate these cells upon interaction with human leukocyte antigen class I molecules and other ligands presented by target cells. KIR gene frequencies and haplotype distributions have been shown to differ significantly between populations from different geographical regions and ethnic origins, which relates to functional variations in the immune response. We have investigated KIR gene frequencies and genotype diversities of 15 KIR genes (KIR2DL1, 2DL2, 2DL3, 2DL4, 2DL5, 2DS1, 2DS2, 2DS3, 2DS4, ID, 2DS5, 3DL1, 3DL2, 3DL3, 3DS1) and two pseudogenes (KIR3DP1 and 2DP1) in 120 unrelated healthy individuals of the Uygur population living in the Xinjiang autonomous region of China. All individuals were typed positive for the four framework loci KIR3DL3, 2DL4, 3DL2 and KIR3DP1, while activating genes (KIR2DS1, 2DS2, 2DS3, 2DS5 and KIR3DS1) indicated some variation in this population. KIR3DS1 was found in a higher frequency in the studied population than in other groups from China. Linkage disequilibrium among KIR genes displayed a wide range. v2 analysis, conducted among non-ubiquitous genes, based on the KIR gene frequency data from our study population and previously published population data, revealed significant differences in the KIR2DL1, 2DL2, 2DL3, 2DL5, 3DL1, 2DS1, 2DS2, 2DS3, 2DS5, and 3DS1 genes. A neighbor-joining phylogenic tree, built using the observed carrier frequencies data of 13 KIR loci (KIR2DL1, 2DL2, 2DL3, 2DL4, 2DL5, 3DL1, 3DL2, 3DL3, 2DS1, 2DS2, 2DS3, 2DS5, and 3DS1), showed relationships between the population studied and other previously reported populations. The present study can therefore be valuable for enriching the ethnical gene information resources of the KIR gene pool, for population origin studies and for KIR-related clinical practice.
- Chinese Uygur population
- Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology