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Novel Transcriptional Activity and Extensive Allelic Imbalance in the Human MHC Region.


ABSTRACT: The MHC region encodes HLA genes and is the most complex region in the human genome. The extensively polymorphic nature of the HLA hinders accurate localization and functional assessment of disease risk loci within this region. Using targeted capture sequencing and constructing individualized genomes for transcriptome alignment, we identified 908 novel transcripts within the human MHC region. These include 593 novel isoforms of known genes, 137 antisense strand RNAs, 119 novel long intergenic noncoding RNAs, and 5 transcripts of 3 novel putative protein-coding human endogenous retrovirus genes. We revealed allele-dependent expression imbalance involving 88% of all heterozygous transcribed single nucleotide polymorphisms throughout the MHC transcriptome. Among these variants, the genetic variant associated with Behçet's disease in the HLA-B/MICA region, which tags HLA-B*51, is within novel long intergenic noncoding RNA transcripts that are exclusively expressed from the haplotype with the protective but not the disease risk allele. Further, the transcriptome within the MHC region can be defined by 14 distinct coexpression clusters, with evidence of coregulation by unique transcription factors in at least 9 of these clusters. Our data suggest a very complex regulatory map of the human MHC, and can help uncover functional consequences of disease risk loci in this region.

SUBMITTER: Gensterblum-Miller E 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5823012 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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