Nature of allelic sequence polymorphism at the KIR3DL3 locus

Des C Jones, Susan E Hiby, Ashley Moffett, John Trowsdale, Neil Thomas Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


KIR3DL3 is a framework gene of the Leukocyte Receptor Complex, present in all individuals and haplotypes analysed to date. We describe 17 novel KIR3DL3 alleles, including seven single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) positions within the coding region. Sequence variation within introns included a VNTR within intron 1. As KIR3DL3 mRNA is known to be expressed in decidual NK cells, we investigated the impact of KIR3DL3 allelic variation on pre-eclampsia. No statistical difference in allele frequency or polymorphism was observed between pre-eclampsia patient and control cohorts. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis of exonic SNPs suggested that recombination may be a mechanism of generating sequence diversity within KIR3DL3. A potential recombination hotspot was located within intron 5. A strong LD was detected between polymorphism in exon 6 of KIR3DL3 and the KIR gene -2DL3 or -2DS2 loci, which define the centromeric end of two main haplotypes (A and B) of the KIR cluster. Comparison of primate KIR sequences indicated that the Ig domains of KIR3DL3 are highly conserved between chimpanzee, gorilla and humans. Investigation of KIR3DL3 dN/dS ratios indicated a greater level of synonymous mutations consistent with purifying selection, although positive selection was detected acting on two sites within the stem region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-627
Number of pages14
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Alleles
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Introns
  • Killer Cells, Natural
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Pre-Eclampsia
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, KIR
  • Receptors, KIR2DL3
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Selection, Genetic


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