Gene Summary

Gene:HLA-DRB1; major histocompatibility complex, class II, DR beta 1
Aliases: SS1, DRB1, HLA-DRB, HLA-DR1B
Summary:HLA-DRB1 belongs to the HLA class II beta chain paralogs. The class II molecule is a heterodimer consisting of an alpha (DRA) and a beta chain (DRB), both anchored in the membrane. It plays a central role in the immune system by presenting peptides derived from extracellular proteins. Class II molecules are expressed in antigen presenting cells (APC: B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages). The beta chain is approximately 26-28 kDa. It is encoded by 6 exons. Exon one encodes the leader peptide; exons 2 and 3 encode the two extracellular domains; exon 4 encodes the transmembrane domain; and exon 5 encodes the cytoplasmic tail. Within the DR molecule the beta chain contains all the polymorphisms specifying the peptide binding specificities. Hundreds of DRB1 alleles have been described and typing for these polymorphisms is routinely done for bone marrow and kidney transplantation. DRB1 is expressed at a level five times higher than its paralogs DRB3, DRB4 and DRB5. DRB1 is present in all individuals. Allelic variants of DRB1 are linked with either none or one of the genes DRB3, DRB4 and DRB5. There are 4 related pseudogenes: DRB2, DRB6, DRB7, DRB8 and DRB9. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:major histocompatibility complex, class II, DR beta 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: HLA-DRB1 (cancer-related)

Christopher MJ, Petti AA, Rettig MP, et al.
Immune Escape of Relapsed AML Cells after Allogeneic Transplantation.
N Engl J Med. 2018; 379(24):2330-2341 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: As consolidation therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation provides a benefit in part by means of an immune-mediated graft-versus-leukemia effect. We hypothesized that the immune-mediated selective pressure imposed by allogeneic transplantation may cause distinct patterns of tumor evolution in relapsed disease.
METHODS: We performed enhanced exome sequencing on paired samples obtained at initial presentation with AML and at relapse from 15 patients who had a relapse after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (with transplants from an HLA-matched sibling, HLA-matched unrelated donor, or HLA-mismatched unrelated donor) and from 20 patients who had a relapse after chemotherapy. We performed RNA sequencing and flow cytometry on a subgroup of these samples and on additional samples for validation.
RESULTS: On exome sequencing, the spectrum of gained and lost mutations observed with relapse after transplantation was similar to the spectrum observed with relapse after chemotherapy. Specifically, relapse after transplantation was not associated with the acquisition of previously unknown AML-specific mutations or structural variations in immune-related genes. In contrast, RNA sequencing of samples obtained at relapse after transplantation revealed dysregulation of pathways involved in adaptive and innate immunity, including down-regulation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II genes ( HLA-DPA1, HLA-DPB1, HLA-DQB1, and HLA-DRB1) to levels that were 3 to 12 times lower than the levels seen in paired samples obtained at presentation. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemical analysis confirmed decreased expression of MHC class II at relapse in 17 of 34 patients who had a relapse after transplantation. Evidence suggested that interferon-γ treatment could rapidly reverse this phenotype in AML blasts in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: AML relapse after transplantation was not associated with the acquisition of relapse-specific mutations in immune-related genes. However, it was associated with dysregulation of pathways that may influence immune function, including down-regulation of MHC class II genes, which are involved in antigen presentation. These epigenetic changes may be reversible with appropriate therapy. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others.).

Shim H, Park B, Shin HJ, et al.
Protective association of HLA-DRB1*13:02, HLA-DRB1*04:06, and HLA-DQB1*06:04 alleles with cervical cancer in a Korean population.
Hum Immunol. 2019; 80(2):107-111 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II alleles have been previously associated with cervical cancer. However, these associations vary widely across racial and ethnic groups. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of HLA class II alleles on cervical cancer in a Korean population. HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQB1, and HLA-DQA1 alleles were analyzed in 457 cervical cancer patients and compared to those of 926 control subjects. The odds ratio (OR) of each allele between the patients and controls was calculated using the logistic regression model. Patients, had significantly lower frequencies of HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 alleles than control subjects: HLA-DRB1*13:02:01 (4.4% vs 8.8%; OR 0.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27-0.84; p = 0.001), HLA-DRB1*04:06 (2.1% vs 4.7%; OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.20-0.97; p = 0.033), and HLA-DQB1*06:04:01 (2.3% vs 5.0%; OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.22-0.94; p = 0.021). No significant association was observed for HLA-DQA1. Protective associations between HLA-DRB1*13:02, HLA-DRB1*04:06, and HLA-DQB1*06:04 alleles and cervical cancer were found in the Korean population.

Kha ML, Hesse L, Deisinger F, et al.
The antioxidant transcription factor Nrf2 modulates the stress response and phenotype of malignant as well as premalignant pancreatic ductal epithelial cells by inducing expression of the ATF3 splicing variant ΔZip2.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(9):1461-1476 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) exhibits one of the worst survival rates of all cancers. While death rates show declining trends in the majority of cancers, PDAC registers rising rates. Based on the recently described crosstalk between TGF-β1 and Nrf2 in the PDAC development, the involvement of ATF3 and its splice variant ΔZip2 in TGF-β1- and Nrf2-driven pancreatic tumorigenesis was investigated. As demonstrated here, PDAC (Panc1, T3M4) cells or premalignant H6c7 pancreatic ductal epithelial cells differentially express ΔZip2- and ATF3, relating to stronger Nrf2 activity seen in Panc1 cells and TGF-ß1 activity in T3M4 or H6c7 cells, respectively. Treatment with the electrophile/oxidative stress inducer tBHQ or the cytostatic drug gemcitabine strongly elevated ΔZip2 expression in a Nrf2-dependent fashion. The differential expression of ATF3 and ΔZip2 in response to Nrf2 and TGF-ß1 relates to differential ATF3-gene promoter usage, giving rise of distinct splice variants. Nrf2-dependent ΔZip2 expression confers resistance against gemcitabine-induced apoptosis, only partially relating to interference with ATF3 and its proapoptotic activity, e.g., through CHOP-expression. In fact, ΔZip2 autonomously activates expression of cIAP anti-apoptotic proteins. Moreover, ΔZip2 favors and ATF3 suppresses growth and clonal expansion of PDAC cells, again partially independent of each other. Using a Panc1 tumor xenograft model in SCID-beige mice, the opposite activities of ATF3 and ΔZip2 on tumor-growth and chemoresistance were verified in vivo. Immunohistochemical analyses confirmed ΔZip2 and Nrf2 coexpression in cancerous and PanIN structures of human PDAC and chronic pancreatitis tissues, respectively, which to some extent was reciprocal to ATF3 expression. It is concluded that depending on selective ATF3-gene promoter usage by Nrf2, the ΔZip2 expression is induced in response to electrophile/oxidative (here through tBHQ) and xenobiotic (here through gemcitabine) stress, providing apoptosis protection and growth advantages to pancreatic ductal epithelial cells. This condition may substantially add to pancreatic carcinogenesis driven by chronic inflammation.

Ferreiro-Iglesias A, Lesseur C, McKay J, et al.
Fine mapping of MHC region in lung cancer highlights independent susceptibility loci by ethnicity.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):3927 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer has several genetic associations identified within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC); although the basis for these associations remains elusive. Here, we analyze MHC genetic variation among 26,044 lung cancer patients and 20,836 controls densely genotyped across the MHC, using the Illumina Illumina OncoArray or Illumina 660W SNP microarray. We impute sequence variation in classical HLA genes, fine-map MHC associations for lung cancer risk with major histologies and compare results between ethnicities. Independent and novel associations within HLA genes are identified in Europeans including amino acids in the HLA-B*0801 peptide binding groove and an independent HLA-DQB1*06 loci group. In Asians, associations are driven by two independent HLA allele sets that both increase risk in HLA-DQB1*0401 and HLA-DRB1*0701; the latter better represented by the amino acid Ala-104. These results implicate several HLA-tumor peptide interactions as the major MHC factor modulating lung cancer susceptibility.

Mercier-Letondal P, Marton C, Deschamps M, et al.
Isolation and Characterization of an HLA-DRB1*04-Restricted HPV16-E7 T Cell Receptor for Cancer Immunotherapy.
Hum Gene Ther. 2018; 29(10):1202-1212 [PubMed] Related Publications
High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a causal factor in oropharyngeal and gynecological malignancies, and development of HPV-targeted immunotherapy could be used to treat patients with these cancers. T cell-mediated adoptive immunotherapy targeting E6 and E7, two HPV16 proteins consistently expressed in tumor cells, appears to be both attractive and safe. However, isolation of HPV-specific T cells is difficult owing to the low frequency of these cell precursors in the peripheral blood. In addition, HPV-positive cancer cells often down-regulate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I expression ex vivo, limiting the efficacy of MHC class I-restricted approaches. Of particular interest is that both CD4 and CD8 T cells can mediate the responses. Given that CD4 T cells play a critical role in coordinating effective antitumor responses, the generation of a T helper response in patients with HPV16-associated malignancies would unleash the ultimate potential of immunotherapy. In this view, T-cell receptor (TCR) gene transfer could be a relevant strategy to generate HPV16-E7-specific and MHC class II-restricted T cells in sufficient numbers. An HPV16-E7/HLA-DRB1*04 TCR has been isolated from a cancer patient with complete response, and retroviral particles encoding this TCR have been produced. The transgenic TCR is highly expressed in transduced T cells, with a functional inducible caspase-9 suicide gene safety cassette. TCR transgenic T cells are HPV16-E7

Cai W, Zhou D, Wu W, et al.
MHC class II restricted neoantigen peptides predicted by clonal mutation analysis in lung adenocarcinoma patients: implications on prognostic immunological biomarker and vaccine design.
BMC Genomics. 2018; 19(1):582 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mutant peptides presented by MHC (major histocompatibility complex) Class II in cancer are important targets for cancer immunotherapy. Both animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients showed that CD4 T cells specific to tumor-derived mutant peptides are essential for the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade therapy by PD1 antibody.
RESULTS: In this study, we analyzed the next generation sequencing data of 147 lung adenocarcinoma patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas and predicted neoantigens presented by MHC Class I and Class II molecules. We found 18,175 expressed clonal somatic mutations, with an average of 124 per patient. The presentation of mutant peptides by an HLA(human leukocyte antigen) Class II molecule, HLA DRB1, were predicted by NetMHCIIpan3.1. 8804 neo-peptides, including 375 strong binders and 8429 weak binders were found. For HLA DRB1*01:01, 54 strong binders and 896 weak binders were found. The most commonly mutated genes with predicted neo-antigens are KRAS, TTN, RYR2, MUC16, TP53, USH2A, ZFHX4, KEAP1, STK11, FAT3, NAV3 and EGFR.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the feasibility of discovering individualized HLA Class II presented mutant peptides as candidates for immunodiagnosis and immunotherapy of lung adenocarcinoma.

Shokeen Y, Sharma NR, Vats A, et al.
Identification of Prognostic and Susceptibility Markers in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Using Next Generation Sequencing.
Ethiop J Health Sci. 2018; 28(2):135-146 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: Incidence of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is continuously increasing and expected to reach 100,000 patients every year by 2030. Though the discovery of Imatinib Mesylate (IM) has brought a paradigm shift in CML treatment, 20% patients show resistance to this tyrosine kinase inhibiter (TKI). Therefore, it is important to identify markers, which can predict the occurrence and prognosis of CML. Clinical Exome Sequencing, panel of more than 4800 genes, was performed in CML patients to identify prognostic and susceptibility markers in CML.
Methods: Enrolled CML patients (n=18) were segregated as IM responders (n=10) and IM failures (n=8) as per European Leukemia Net (ELN), 2013 guidelines. Healthy controls (n=5) were also enrolled. DNA from blood of subjects was subjected to Next Generation Sequencing. Rare mutations present in one patient group and absent in another group were considered as prognostic markers, whereas mutations present in more than 50% patients were considered as susceptibility markers.
Result: Mutations in genes associated with cancer related functions were found in different patient groups. Four variants: rs116201358, rs4014596, rs52897880 and rs2274329 in C8A, UNC93B1, APOH and CA6 genes, respectively, were present in IM responders; whereas rs4945 in MFGE8 was present in IM failures. Mutations in HLA-DRB1 (rs17878951), HLA-DRB5 (rs137863146), RPHN2 (rs193179333), CYP2F1 (rs116958555), KCNJ12 (rs76684759) and FUT3 (rs151218854) were present as susceptibility markers.
Conclusion: The potential genetic markers discovered in this study can help in predicting response to IM as frontline therapy. Susceptibility markers may also be used as panel for individuals prone to have CML.

Wang W, Ollila HM, Whittemore AS, et al.
Genetic variants in the HLA class II region associated with risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018; 67(7):1123-1133 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The immune system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) as evidenced by the substantially increased risk of cSCC in immunosuppressed individuals. Associations between cSCC risk and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the HLA region have been identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The translation of the associated HLA SNPs to structural amino acids changes in HLA molecules has not been previously elucidated.
METHODS: Using data from a GWAS that included 7238 cSCC cases and 56,961 controls of non-Hispanic white ancestry, we imputed classical alleles and corresponding amino acid changes in HLA genes. Logistic regression models were used to examine associations between cSCC risk and genotyped or imputed SNPs, classical HLA alleles, and amino acid changes.
RESULTS: Among the genotyped SNPs, cSCC risk was associated with rs28535317 (OR = 1.20, p = 9.88 × 10
CONCLUSIONS: Associations with specific HLA-DR and -DQ alleles are likely to explain previously observed GWAS signals in the HLA region associated with cSCC risk.

Wang SS, Carrington M, Berndt SI, et al.
HLA Class I and II Diversity Contributes to the Etiologic Heterogeneity of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(14):4086-4096 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A growing number of loci within the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region have been implicated in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) etiology. Here, we test a complementary hypothesis of "heterozygote advantage" regarding the role of HLA and NHL, whereby HLA diversity is beneficial and homozygous HLA loci are associated with increased disease risk. HLA alleles at class I and II loci were imputed from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using SNP2HLA for 3,617 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL), 2,686 follicular lymphomas (FL), 2,878 chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphomas (CLL/SLL), 741 marginal zone lymphomas (MZL), and 8,753 controls of European descent. Both DLBCL and MZL risk were elevated with homozygosity at class I HLA-B and -C loci (OR DLBCL = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.06-1.60; OR MZL = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.12-1.89) and class II HLA-DRB1 locus (OR DLBCL = 2.10, 95% CI = 1.24-3.55; OR MZL = 2.10, 95% CI = 0.99-4.45). Increased FL risk was observed with the overall increase in number of homozygous HLA class II loci (

Moyer AM, Hashmi SK, Kroning C, et al.
Does matching for SNPs in the MHC gamma block in 10/10 HLA-matched unrelated donor-recipient pairs undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplant improve outcomes?
Hum Immunol. 2018; 79(7):532-536 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Matching at the HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DRB1, and HLA-DQB1 loci is important in donor selection for patients undergoing unrelated allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Additional matching across the MHC gamma region may further improve outcomes.
METHODS: The MHC gamma region was retrospectively genotyped in 66 adult recipients of ASCT and their 10/10 matched unrelated donors. A chart review was performed to determine whether MHC gamma matching impacted survival, relapse, or graft-versus-host disease.
RESULTS: Of 66 donor-recipient pairs, 26(39.4%) were gamma-type matches, 34(51.5%) were mismatches, and 6(9.1%) were "indeterminate." Matching status was not associated with overall survival (p = 0.43), relapse (p = 0.21), acute GVHD (p = 0.43), severe aGVHD (p = 0.31), or chronic GVHD (p = 0.23) in univariate analyses, nor in multivariate analyses (p = 0.28, 0.13, 0.29, 0.16, and 0.67, respectively), with or without adjusting for HLA-DPB1 matching status.
CONCLUSIONS: In our single institution study, gamma-type matching status was not associated with outcomes of adult ASCT recipients.

Kanangat S, Seder CW, Pergande MR, et al.
Circulating histocompatibility antigen (HLA) gene products may help differentiate benign from malignant indeterminate pulmonary lesions.
Hum Immunol. 2018; 79(7):558-563 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study explores the potential diagnostic utility of soluble Human Leukocyte Antigen (sHLA) molecules differentially released by lung adenocarcinoma and benign lung lesions.
METHODS: Conditioned media from the NSCLC cell lines H358 and H1703 were immunoblotted for soluble isoforms of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I (ABC) and II (DRB1, DMB, and DQ) antigens. Sera from 25 patients with benign and 25 patients with malignant lesions were similarly evaluated to appraise the potential diagnostic value.
RESULTS: Higher concentrations of soluble HLA class I molecules were observed in conditioned medium for the highly-invasive H1703 cell line, relative to the more indolent H358 cells. Evaluation of these markers against a cohort of 50 cases demonstrated that patients with malignant lesions possess higher levels of HLA class I and II molecules relative to those with benign lesions (p < 0.05), with exception to the primary isoform, DQA1, which was suppressed in malignancies. An analysis of biomarker performance via ROC analysis revealed promising performance (AUC > 0.75) for DMB and the 26 kDa isoform of DQ in distinguishing lesion pathology.
CONCLUSIONS: Soluble HLA molecules may have diagnostic value for early-stage NSCLC. Validation studies are currently underway using sera from a lung cancer screening cohort.

Zhang Q, Zhou Y
A novel null allele, HLA-DRB1*15:148N, identified in a Chinese family.
HLA. 2018; 91(6):544-545 [PubMed] Related Publications
A single nucleotide deletion at position 187 of HLA-DRB1*15:01:01:01 results in a null allele, HLA-DRB1*15:148N.

Callahan BM, Tong WL, Blanck G
T cell receptor-β J usage, in combination with particular HLA class II alleles, correlates with better cancer survival rates.
Immunol Res. 2018; 66(2):219-223 [PubMed] Related Publications
T cell receptor (TCR) β V and J usage correlates with either the HLA class I or HLA class II major histocompatibility subtypes, and in both infectious diseases and autoimmune settings, the use of particular TCR-β V and J's, in persons with specific HLA alleles, represents either better outcomes or certain clinical features. However, the relationship of TCR V and J usage, HLA alleles, and clinical parameters in the cancer setting has been less well studied. Here, we have evaluated the relationship of what is likely dominant TCR-β V and J usage among tissue-resident lymphocytes for lung, head and neck, kidney, stomach, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, with patient HLA class II alleles. The most striking indication is that TCR-β J subgroup usage, in combination with particular patient HLA class II alleles, correlated with either better or worse outcomes for lung cancer. One combination, TCR-β J2 segment usage and the HLA-DRB1*1501 allele, correlated with a better survival rate for both lung and head and neck cancers. These results fill a gap in knowledge regarding the relevance of HLA typing to cancer and indicate that HLA typing, along with an indication of dominant TCR-β J usage among tissue-resident lymphocytes, can be useful for prognosis.

Hu JM, Liang WH, Qi CH, et al.
HLA-DQB1*03 and DRB1*07 alleles increase the risk of cervical cancer among Uighur and Han women in Xinjiang, China.
Future Oncol. 2018; 14(20):2005-2011 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To explore the association between the determinant factors including HLA-DQB1*03, DRB1-*07, -*13 and high-risk HPV infection, the cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) pathogenesis among Chinese Uighur and Han population.
MATERIALS & METHODS: HLA alleles were genotyped by PCR sequence-specific primers.
RESULTS: HPV16 infection rate was significantly higher among the Uighurs and Hans with CSCC as compared with healthy controls, respectively. HLA-DQB1*03 significantly increased among Uighurs with CSCC, while HLA-DRB1*07 significantly increased among Hans with CSCC. Similar tendencies were observed for DQB1*03 with HPV16-positive Uighurs CSCC and DRB1*07 with HPV16-positive Hans CSCC.
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that HLA-DQB1*03 and DRB1*07 alleles may influence the immune response to HPV16 infection and increase the risk of CSCC among the Uighurs and Hans in China.

Kito F, Oyama R, Takai Y, et al.
Establishment and characterization of the NCC-SS1-C1 synovial sarcoma cell line.
Hum Cell. 2018; 31(2):167-174 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma is an aggressive mesenchymal malignancy characterized by unique gene fusions. Tissue culture cells are essential tools for further understanding tumorigenesis and anti-cancer drug development; however, only a limited number of well-characterized synovial sarcoma cell lines exist. Thus, the objective of this study was to establish a patient-derived synovial sarcoma cell line. We established a synovial sarcoma cell line from tumor tissue isolated from a 72-year-old female patient. Prepared cells were analyzed for the presence of gene fusions by fluorescence in situ hybridization, RT-PCR, and karyotyping. In addition, the resulting cell line was characterized by viability, short tandem repeat, colony and spheroid formation, and invasion analyses. Differences in gene enrichment between the primary tumor and cell line were examined by mass spectrometric protein expression profiling and KEGG pathway analysis. Our analyses revealed that the primary tumor and NCC-SS1-C1 cell line harbored the SS18-SSX1 fusion gene typical of synovial sarcoma and similar proteomics profiles. In vitro analyses also confirmed that the established cell line harbored invasive, colony-forming, and spheroid-forming potentials. Moreover, drug screening with chemotherapeutic agents and tyrosine kinase inhibitors revealed that doxorubicin, a subset of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and several molecular targeting drugs markedly decreased NCC-SS1-C1 cell viability. Results from the present study support that the NCC-SS1-C1 cell line will be an effective tool for sarcoma research.

Bello-López JM, Cisneros CB, Martínez-Albarrán A
HLA analysis of Mexican candidates for bone marrow transplantation and probability of finding compatible related donors.
Transfus Apher Sci. 2018; 57(1):82-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Oncohematological disorders are the main cause of morbidity in the Mexican population from 1 to 19 years old, where megakaryoblastic and promyelocitic leukemias are more frequent. Considering that the success of a transplant is multifactorial, the criterion of compatibility in the HLA system is crucial and even more so when the source of HSC is bone marrow.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of the HLA genotype in Mexican candidates who require a bone marrow transplant from related donors and the probability to find donors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred twenty-six candidates for bone marrow transplant and related donors were tested for HLA class I (-A*, -B* alleles) and class II (-DRB1* allele) in intermediate-resolution, as the first phase in the choice of the possible donor. The criteria to identify donors were determined by antigen-matched in each HLA haplotype as follows: 4/6, 5/6 and 6/6 at the HLA-A*, HLA-B*, and HLA-DRB1* alleles.
RESULTS: Of all the candidates analyzed, 57.93%, at least one bone marrow donor was identified; in 53 cases, no donor was found. The average size of the families was 4.79 ± 1.06 members. A higher percentage of compatibility with grade 6/6 (31.6%) was identified with brothers, followed by sisters in 25.3%. The probability to find at least one compatible potential donor was 1.51 ± 0.92 donors.
CONCLUSION: In the first phase to select donors, Mexican patients studied in this work, have a compatible donor, however the grade of resolution test influenced in the probability identified.

Alifu M, Fan P, Kuerban G, et al.
Frequency distribution of HLA alleles and haplotypes in Uyghur women with advanced squamous cell cervical cancer and relation to HPV status and clinical outcome.
Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2018; 297(3):757-766 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study aims to investigate the association of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and haplotypes in Uyghur women with advanced squamous cell cervical cancer (SCC).
METHODS: A total of 131 Uyghur patients with advanced SCC (IIb-IVa) and 91 healthy subjects from Xinjiang province were genotyped for HLA-I and II genes using Polymerase Chain Reaction Sequence Based Typing. The different frequencies of HLA alleles and haplotypes between patients and controls were compared and the correlations were analyzed between HLA distribution and HPV status and prognosis.
RESULTS: (1) The frequencies of B*51:01, DRB1*07:01, DQB1*02:01, A*01:01-C*06:02, A*01:01-DRB1*07:01, C*06:02-DQB1*02:01, DRB1*07:01-DQB1*02:01 and C*06:02-DRB1*07:01-DQB1*02:01 in cancer group were higher than control group whereas the frequencies of B*44:02, B*58:01, C*05:01, DRB1*04:01, DRB1*12:01, DRB1*13:01, DQB1*02:02, DQB1*05:02, DRB1*03:01-DQB1*02:02 and DRB1*04:01-DQB1*03:02 in cancer group were lower than control group (P < 0.05). (2) The frequencies of A*01:01-C*06:02, A*01:01-DRB1*07:01, C*06:02-DQB1*02:01, DRB1*07:01-DQB1*02:01 and C*06:02-DRB1*07:01-DQB1*02:01 in HPV positive group were lower than HPV negative group, differences of which were statistically significant (P < 0.05). (3) B*44:02 and B*58:01 were associated with reduced disease-specific survival (DSS) (P = 0.010 and 0.007). (4) Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models revealed that age, International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage, tumor differentiation and allele B*58:01 as independent predictors for DSS while FIGO stage and tumor differentiation as independent factors for DFS.
CONCLUSIONS: In the development and progression of advanced SCC among Uyghur population, the HLA alleles and its haplotypes play an important role. B*58:01 allele may act as an independent predictor for DSS.

Huo MR, Pei XY, Li D, et al.
Impact of HLA allele mismatch at HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, and -DQB1 on outcomes in haploidentical stem cell transplantation.
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2018; 53(5):600-608 [PubMed] Related Publications
The impact of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele mismatch on transplant outcomes in haploidentical stem cell transplantation (haplo-SCT) has not been established. We retrospectively studied 595 patients with hematologic malignancy who received haplo-SCT. The impact of multiple HLA allele mismatches (HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, and -DQB1) and each HLA allele mismatch on transplant outcomes was analyzed. Greater number of HLA allele disparity does not appear worsen outcome. As for each HLA locus, HLA-A mismatch correlated with decreased rate of platelet engraftment (HR 0.740, P = .003); HLA-B mismatch independently correlated with decreased relapse rate (HR 0.494, P = .032) and improved disease-free survival and overall survival (HR 0.514, P = .003; HR 0.494, P = .002, respectively); HLA-C mismatch appeared to be protective for transplant-related mortality (TRM) (HR 0.567, P = .039); HLA-DRB1 mismatch was associated with increased cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) (HR 1.942, P = .002). No associations of any HLA mismatch with delayed neutrophil engraftment or increased cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD were observed. Our data indicated that high degree of HLA allele mismatches did not adversely affect transplant outcomes in haplo-SCT and each HLA allele mismatch had different effect.

Ren Y, Jia HH, Xu YQ, et al.
Paracrine and epigenetic control of CAF-induced metastasis: the role of HOTAIR stimulated by TGF-ß1 secretion.
Mol Cancer. 2018; 17(1):5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The communication between carcinoma associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and cancer cells facilitate tumor metastasis. In this study, we further underlying the epigenetic mechanisms of CAFs feed the cancer cells and the molecular mediators involved in these processes.
METHODS: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were treated with CAFs culture conditioned medium, respectively. Cytokine antibody array, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, western blotting and immunofluorescence were used to identify the key chemokines. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assay were performed to explore the transactivation of target LncRNA by CAFs. A series of in vitro assays was performed with RNAi-mediated knockdown to elucidate the function of LncRNA. An orthotopic mouse model of MDA-MB-231 was conducted to confirm the mechanism in vivo.
RESULTS: Here we reported that TGF-β1 was top one highest level of cytokine secreted by CAFs as revealed by cytokine antibody array. Paracrine TGF-β1 was essential for CAFs induced EMT and metastasis in breast cancer cells, which is a crucial mediator of the interaction between stromal and cancer cells. CAF-CM significantly enhanced the HOTAIR expression to promote EMT, whereas treatment with small-molecule inhibitors of TGF-β1 attenuated the activation of HOTAIR. Most importantly, SMAD2/3/4 directly bound the promoter site of HOTAIR, located between nucleotides -386 and -398, -440 and -452, suggesting that HOTAIR was a directly transcriptional target of SMAD2/3/4. Additionally, CAFs mediated EMT by targeting CDK5 signaling through H3K27 tri-methylation. Depletion of HOTAIR inhibited CAFs-induced tumor growth and lung metastasis in MDA-MB-231 orthotopic animal model.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated that CAFs promoted the metastatic activity of breast cancer cells by activating the transcription of HOTAIR via TGF-β1 secretion, supporting the pursuit of the TGF-β1/HOTAIR axis as a target in breast cancer treatment.

Sud A, Thomsen H, Law PJ, et al.
Genome-wide association study of classical Hodgkin lymphoma identifies key regulators of disease susceptibility.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):1892 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Several susceptibility loci for classical Hodgkin lymphoma have been reported. However, much of the heritable risk is unknown. Here, we perform a meta-analysis of two existing genome-wide association studies, a new genome-wide association study, and replication totalling 5,314 cases and 16,749 controls. We identify risk loci for all classical Hodgkin lymphoma at 6q22.33 (rs9482849, P = 1.52 × 10

Qin N, Wang C, Zhu M, et al.
Fine-mapping the MHC region in Asian populations identified novel variants modifying susceptibility to lung cancer.
Lung Cancer. 2017; 112:169-175 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a vital role in the immune system and drives predisposition to multiple cancers. A number of lung cancer-related genetic variants in the MHC have been identified in recent genome-wide association studies; however, the causal variants remain unclear.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the present study, we conducted a large-scale fine-mapping study of lung cancer in the MHC region of 13,945 unrelated Asian individuals to search for potential causal variants. We used the recently constructed Pan-Asian panel as the reference and imputed eight HLA genes (HLA-A, HLC-B, HLA-C, HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQB1, HLA-DPA1, and HLA-DPB1) using SNP2HLA software.
RESULTS: We identified one single nucleotide polymorphism, rs12333226 (OR=1.41, P=3.97×10
CONCLUSION: We identified seven novel bi-allelic variants and five polymorphic amino acid positions in HLA-DRβ1, HLA-DQα1, and HLA-A that confer a risk of lung cancer. This finding provides evidence for the substantial contributions of HLA class I and II molecules to lung cancer susceptibility.

William BM, Wang T, Haagenson MD, et al.
Impact of HLA Alleles on Outcomes of Allogeneic Transplantation for B Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas: A Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Analysis.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018; 24(4):827-831 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Even in the modern era of targeted therapies, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) can offer a chance of extended survival in B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) patients who relapse after or are deemed ineligible for autologous transplantation. A better understanding of the factors influencing the graft-versus-lymphoma (GVL) response would be useful in identifying B-NHL patients who may benefit from allo-HCT. Based on prior single-center reports, we hypothesized that certain HLA alleles, or haplotypes, may be associated with superior GVL compared with others after allo-HCT. To test this possibility we retrospectively evaluated whether the presence of HLA-A2, HLA-C1C1, HLA-DRB1*01:01, or HLA-DRB1*13 alleles or the presence of HLA-A1+, HLA-A2-, and HLA-B44- haplotypes is associated with outcomes in a cohort of 1314 HLA-8/8 matched sibling or unrelated donor HCT for relapsed/refractory B-NHL. We observed no significant association between any HLA allele or haplotype and overall survival or any of the secondary endpoints. In conclusion, this study represents the largest reported series of allo-HCT outcomes of B-NHL patients based on HLA type. Identification of other variables will be required to delineate the immunologic impact of donor-host interactions on outcomes of allo-HCT for B-NHL.

Duchartre Y, Bachl S, Kim HN, et al.
Effects of CD49d-targeted antisense-oligonucleotide on α4 integrin expression and function of acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells: Results of in vitro and in vivo studies.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(11):e0187684 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We recently demonstrated the effectiveness of blocking CD49d with anti-functional antibodies or small molecule inhibitors as a rational targeted approach to the treatment of acute leukemia in combination with chemotherapy. Antisense oligonucleotide promises to be no less specific than antibodies and inhibitors, but more interesting for pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. We addressed this using the published CD49d antisense drug ATL1102. In vitro, we incubated/nucleofected the ALL cell line Kasumi-2 with ATL1102. In vivo, immunodeficient hosts were engrafted with primary ALL cells and treated with ATL1102. Changes in expression of CD49d mRNA and CD49d protein, and of cooperating gene products, including ß1 integrin and CXCR4, as well as survival in the mouse experiments were quantified. We observed dose-dependent down-regulation of CD49d mRNA and protein levels and its partner integrin ß1 cell surface protein level and, up-regulation of CXCR4 surface expression. The suppression was more pronounced after nucleofection than after incubation, where down-regulation was significant only at the higher doses. In vivo effects of ATL1102 were not sufficient to translate into "clinical" benefit in the leukemia model. In summary, antisense oligonucleotides are successful tools for specifically modulating gene expression but sufficient delivery to down-regulate CD49d in vivo may be difficult to achieve.

Balassa K, Andrikovics H, Remenyi P, et al.
Sex-specific survival difference in association with HLA-DRB1∗04 following allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for lymphoid malignancies.
Hum Immunol. 2018; 79(1):13-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of HLA system in allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) outcome is unarguable. In this study we investigated association of HLA-A,-B and-DRB1 alleles with overall survival (OS) in 186 patients undergoing allo-HSCT for lymphoid malignancies. Analyses confirmed significantly better OS for HLA-DRB1∗04 carriers compared with non-carriers (p = 0.01). Survival benefit was confined to male patients (in multivariate analyses p = 0.034, hazard ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.13-0.92), whereas in females no difference was noted (p = 0.82). Furthermore, donor gender also affected outcome and transplantation from female HLA-DRB1∗04 carrier donors resulted in superior survival compared with female non-carrier donors (p = 0.01). Combined analyses including recipient/donor gender and HLA-DRB1∗04 showed that survival of male patients varied significantly according to donor gender and HLA-DRB1∗04 carriership (p = 0.04) with best survival among HLA-DRB1∗04 carriers transplanted from female donors. Of relevance to our results, HLA-DRB1∗04 has been documented as risk allele group for lymphoid malignancies, and studies described a male-specific risk. We believe that our findings provide further supporting evidence for sex-specific alterations secondary to HLA-DRB1∗04 or related genes. Further studies are warranted to evaluate whether in contrast to general favour of male donors HLA-DRB1∗04 carrier patients with lymphoid malignancies could benefit from transplantation from female donors.

Joshi PK, Pirastu N, Kentistou KA, et al.
Genome-wide meta-analysis associates HLA-DQA1/DRB1 and LPA and lifestyle factors with human longevity.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):910 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genomic analysis of longevity offers the potential to illuminate the biology of human aging. Here, using genome-wide association meta-analysis of 606,059 parents' survival, we discover two regions associated with longevity (HLA-DQA1/DRB1 and LPA). We also validate previous suggestions that APOE, CHRNA3/5, CDKN2A/B, SH2B3 and FOXO3A influence longevity. Next we show that giving up smoking, educational attainment, openness to new experience and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels are most positively genetically correlated with lifespan while susceptibility to coronary artery disease (CAD), cigarettes smoked per day, lung cancer, insulin resistance and body fat are most negatively correlated. We suggest that the effect of education on lifespan is principally mediated through smoking while the effect of obesity appears to act via CAD. Using instrumental variables, we suggest that an increase of one body mass index unit reduces lifespan by 7 months while 1 year of education adds 11 months to expected lifespan.Variability in human longevity is genetically influenced. Using genetic data of parental lifespan, the authors identify associations at HLA-DQA/DRB1 and LPA and find that genetic variants that increase educational attainment have a positive effect on lifespan whereas increasing BMI negatively affects lifespan.

Reiter O, Ben Amitai D, Amitay-Laish I, et al.
Pediatric mycosis fungoides: a study of the human leukocyte antigen system among Israeli Jewish patients.
Arch Dermatol Res. 2017; 309(10):851-856 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pediatric mycosis fungoides (MF) is a rare disease characterized by over-representation of atypical clinical variants, with a different prognosis from adult MF. Several human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles have been associated with MF in certain adult populations, including Israeli Jews. However, HLA data on pediatric MF as a group are lacking. To evaluate the possible association of the HLA system with pediatric MF, 59 Israeli Jewish patients diagnosed with MF at age ≤ 18 years underwent high- and intermediate-resolution genotyping for HLA class I (HLA-A*, HLA-B*) and class II (HLA-DRB1*, DQB1*) loci. The results were compared with data on 4169 umbilical cord blood units retrieved from a public cord blood bank in Jerusalem and samples from 252 healthy, unrelated Israeli Jewish volunteers. No statistically significant associations were found between pediatric MF and any of the alleles examined except HLA-B*73. However, given the extremely low frequency of B*73 in both the control group (0.1%) and the study group (2%), the biological significance of this finding is questionable. Further subgroup analyses by ethnicity (Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi) and clinicopathologic variant (follicular and non-follicular) yielded no significant between-group differences. These results suggest that the associations with the HLA system, reported previously in adult MF, do not hold true for pediatric MF. Thus, pediatric MF differs from its adult counterpart not only in clinical manifestations and course, but apparently also in the underlying immuno-pathogenetic mechanism.

Bahls L, Yamakawa R, Zanão K, et al.
Human Leukocyte Antigen Class I and Class II Polymorphisms and Serum Cytokine Profiles in Cervical Cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2017; 18(9) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Only a small proportion of women who are exposed to infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) progress to persistent infection and develop cervical cancer (CC). The immune response and genetic background of the host may affect the risk of progression from a HR-HPV infection to lesions and cancer. However, to our knowledge, no studies has been conducted to evaluate the relationship between variability of human leukocyte antigens (

van der Wekken AJ, Kuiper JL, Saber A, et al.
Overall survival in EGFR mutated non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with afatinib after EGFR TKI and resistant mechanisms upon disease progression.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(8):e0182885 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine survival in afatinib-treated patients after treatment with first-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and to study resistance mechanisms in afatinib-resistant tumors.
METHODS: Characteristics and survival of patients treated with afatinib after resistance to erlotinib or gefitinib in two large Dutch centers were collected. Whole exome sequencing (WES) and pathway analysis was performed on available pre- and post-afatinib tumor biopsies and normal tissue.
RESULTS: A total of 38 patients were treated with afatinib. T790M mutations were identified in 22/29 (76%) pre-afatinib treatment tumor samples. No difference in median progression-free-survival (2.8 months (95% CI 2.3-3.3) and 2.7 months (95% CI 0.9-4.6), p = 0.55) and median overall-survival (8.8 months (95% CI 4.2-13.4) and 3.6 months (95% CI 2.3-5.0), p = 0.14) were observed in T790M+ patients compared to T790M- mutations. Somatic mutations in TP53, ADAMTS2, CNN2 and multiple genes in the Wnt and PI3K-AKT pathway were observed in post-afatinib tumors of six afatinib-responding and in one non-responding patient. No new EGFR mutations were found in the post-afatinib samples of the six responding patients. Further analyses of post-afatinib progressive tumors revealed 28 resistant specific mutations in six genes (HLA-DRB1, AQP7, FAM198A, SEC31A, CNTLN, and ESX1) in three afatinib responding patients. No known EGFR-TKI resistant-associated copy number gains were acquired in the post-afatinib samples.
CONCLUSION: No differences in survival were observed in patients with EGFR-T790M treated with afatinib compared to those without T790M. Tumors from patients who had progressive disease during afatinib treatment were enriched for mutations in genes involved in Wnt and PI3K-AKT pathways.

Leo PJ, Madeleine MM, Wang S, et al.
Defining the genetic susceptibility to cervical neoplasia-A genome-wide association study.
PLoS Genet. 2017; 13(8):e1006866 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A small percentage of women with cervical HPV infection progress to cervical neoplasia, and the risk factors determining progression are incompletely understood. We sought to define the genetic loci involved in cervical neoplasia and to assess its heritability using unbiased unrelated case/control statistical approaches. We demonstrated strong association of cervical neoplasia with risk and protective HLA haplotypes that are determined by the amino-acids carried at positions 13 and 71 in pocket 4 of HLA-DRB1 and position 156 in HLA-B. Furthermore, 36% (standard error 2.4%) of liability of HPV-associated cervical pre-cancer and cancer is determined by common genetic variants. Women in the highest 10% of genetic risk scores have approximately >7.1% risk, and those in the highest 5% have approximately >21.6% risk, of developing cervical neoplasia. Future studies should examine genetic risk prediction in assessing the risk of cervical neoplasia further, in combination with other screening methods.

Spraggs CF, Parham LR, Briley LP, et al.
Characterisation of the HLA-DRB1*07:01 biomarker for lapatinib-induced liver toxicity during treatment of early-stage breast cancer patients with lapatinib in combination with trastuzumab and/or taxanes.
Pharmacogenomics J. 2018; 18(3):480-486 [PubMed] Related Publications
HLA-DRB1*07:01 allele carriage was characterised as a risk biomarker for lapatinib-induced liver injury in a large global study evaluating lapatinib, alone and in combination with trastuzumab and taxanes, as adjuvant therapy for advanced breast cancer (adjuvant lapatinib and/or trastuzumab treatment optimisation). HLA-DRB1*07:01 carriage was associated with serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevations in lapatinib-treated patients (odds ratio 6.5, P=3 × 10

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