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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Comparison of killer Ig-like receptor genotyping and phenotyping for selection of allogeneic blood stem cell donors.

The repertoire of killer Ig-like receptors (KIRs) can be determined at the level of DNA, RNA, or surface protein expression for selection of blood stem cell donors. We compared genotyping and phenotyping of the four inhibitory KIRs that are important in transplantation for leukemia in 73 unrelated persons. In 5 (7%) of the 68 individuals in whom the KIR2DL1 gene was present and in 10 (15%) of the 67 in whom KIR3DL1 was present, the corresponding receptor was not expressed by NK cells, as determined by flow cytometry analysis. In contrast, one or both allelic forms of KIR2DL2/ KIR2DL3 were expressed by a high proportion of NK cells in all 73 individuals. However if both KIR2DL2 and KIR2DL3 genes were present, KIR2DL3 was preferentially expressed, as transcripts of KIR2DL2 was not detectable by RT-PCR in 42% of these individuals. In total, repertoire assessment for the four KIRs by genotyping vs phenotyping was not in complete agreement in 18 (25%) of the 73 individuals. Furthermore, among the samples that tested positive for the expression of a certain KIR gene, the levels of transcripts and surface expression varied considerably as measured by both real-time quantitative PCR and flow cytometry analysis. Extension of this comparative analysis to include all 12 KIR family members showed that KIR2DL3 and KIR3DL2 were the only genes whose transcripts were consistently detectable. These results caution the use of genotyping alone for donor selection or leukemia-relapse prognostication because some KIRs may be expressed at a very low level.[1]


  1. Comparison of killer Ig-like receptor genotyping and phenotyping for selection of allogeneic blood stem cell donors. Leung, W., Iyengar, R., Triplett, B., Turner, V., Behm, F.G., Holladay, M.S., Houston, J., Handgretinger, R. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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