Molecular analysis of HLA class I alleles in the Mexican Seri Indians: implications for their origin
- ISSN: 0001-2815 (Print)
- ISBN: 0001-2815 (Print)\r0001-2815 (Linking)
- DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-0039.1999.540104.x
- PubMed: 10458321
The molecular analysis of HLA class I loci has demonstrated that, although, the genetic profile is restricted in Amerindians, several micropolymorphisms may be important in conferring a biological advantage. We analyzed the HLA-A and B genetic profile of Seris, a Mexican Indian tribe living in northwestern Mexico in the state of Sonora. There are presently only 619 individuals. Our study included 100 Seris belonging to nine families. HLA-A and -B loci typing was performed by polymerase chain reaction using an amplification refractory mutation system (PCR-ARMS) on a select group of samples; all of them were typed by polymerase chain reaction using sequence-specific oliogonuoleotide probes (PCR-SSOP) at a low-intermediate resolution level. The correlation between the techniques was 100%. Only five HLA-A alleles and seven HLA-B alleles were found. A*0201, A*68, A*31, A*24, B*3501, B*40, B*51, B*3512 and B*15 were present in over 5% of the individuals. B*27052 was detected in 2%. B27 is absent in any other Mexican Indian groups previously studied. The presence of B27 may be the result of a founder effect due to different waves of southward migrations. The B-locus is more diverse and the prevalent haplotypes were: A*0201-B*3501, A*0201-B*40, A*0201-B*3512, A*31-B*51, A*68-B*3501 and A*68-B*40. This genetic profile is different from the pattern of other Mexicans. The phylogenetic tree suggests that Seris are more closely related to the Warao Indians from Venezuela, who live in a similar ecosystem, and to some groups of Argentina, than they are to the Mexican Lacandones who live in the jungle. These data emphasize the relevance of the interaction between genes and environment.