Under the genetics program, the BPRC monkey colonies are genetically characterized. The research is focused on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which is a polygenic and polymorphic genomic region encoding the cell surface expressed molecules that present antigens to the immune system. At this level susceptibility and resistance to disease as well as the response to vaccines by the adaptive immune system is regulated. Of more recent date is the characterization of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors, which are key-regulatory molecules of innate immune functions. The main purpose of the genetics program is thus the definition of the most suitable animals for a specific research line, which will lead to a Refinement and Reduction of the animals used in experiments.

Selected References

A splice site mutation converts an inhibitory killer cell Ig-like receptor into an activating one. Blokhuis JH, Doxiadis GG, Bontrop RE.
Mol Immunol. 2009 Feb;46(4):640-8. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2008.08.270. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

AIDS-protective HLA-B*27/B*57 and chimpanzee MHC class I molecules target analogous conserved areas of HIV-1/SIVcpz.
de Groot NG, Heijmans CM, Zoet YM, de Ru AH, Verreck FA, van Veelen PA, Drijfhout JW, Doxiadis GG, Remarque EJ, Doxiadis II, van Rood JJ, Koning F, Bontrop RE.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 24;107(34):15175-80.

The extreme plasticity of killer cell Ig-like receptor (KIR) haplotypes differentiates rhesus macaques from humans.
Blokhuis JH, van der Wiel MK, Doxiadis GG, Bontrop RE.
Eur J Immunol. 2011 Sep;41(9):2719-28.

Evolution of HLA-DRB genes.
Doxiadis GG, Hoof I, de Groot N, Bontrop RE.
Mol Biol Evol. 2012 Dec;29(12):3843-53.

Co-evolution of the MHC class I and KIR gene families in rhesus macaques: ancestry and plasticity.
de Groot NG, Blokhuis JH, Otting N, Doxiadis GG, Bontrop RE.
Immunol Rev. 2015 Sep;267(1):228-45.