Asian population frequencies and haplotype distribution of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genes among Chinese, Malay, and Indian in Singapore
Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) can inhibit the killing activity of natural killer (NK) cells if they interact with their ligand, class I HLA. Using a modified polymerase chain reaction-sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP) method for typing KIRs using genomic DNA, we compared KIR frequencies in three ethnic populations drawn from UK blood donors. We found a significantly lower frequency of the inhibitory KIRs KIR2DS1 and 3DS1 in Afro-Caribbean blood donors. Despite this, there was a (non-significant) increase in the B haplotype in Afro-Caribbean and Indian Asian donors. Some donors from each group tested negative for all non-inhibitory KIRs. In addition, we describe several new KIR profiles. Analysis of linkage disequilibrium was consistent with previously published findings.