Evolutionary diversification of class II P loci in the Mhc of the mole-rat Spalax ehrenbergi.

R. Schöpfer, F. Figueroa, D. Nizetić, E. Nevo, J. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The class II region of the major histocompatibility complex (Smh) in the mole rat, Spalax ehrenbergi, consists of only two gene families, P and Q, instead of the four families (P, O, Q, and R) found in all other mammals studied to date. The Spalax P family consists of at least four beta and three alpha genes or gene fragments. In DNA-hybridization experiments, two of the beta genes behave as bona fide P-family members in that they hybridize strongly with human DP beta probes and hybridize weakly with probes specific for other class II gene families. The other two beta genes, on the other hand, hybridize weakly with human DP beta probes and nearly as well with human DQ beta probes. To determine the evolutionary relationships among these P-like genes, we have sequenced one of them. The sequence reveals, on the basis of its organization, that the gene clearly belongs to the P family, yet, on the basis of its nucleotide sequence, it is only slightly more similar to human DP than to human DQ genes. These results indicate that in the Spalax the P family of genes split into two subfamilies, PA and PB. For unknown reasons, one of these subfamilies (PB) retained more similarity to the Q gene family than did the other (PA).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-299
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolutionary diversification of class II P loci in the Mhc of the mole-rat Spalax ehrenbergi.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this