HLA-DPB1 glutamate 69: a genetic marker of beryllium disease

Science  08 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5131, pp. 242-244
DOI: 10.1126/science.8105536


Chronic beryllium disease (CBD) is a lung disorder related toberyllium exposure and is characterized by the accumulation in thelung of beryllium-specific CD4+ major histocompatibility complex (MHC)class II-restricted T lymphocytes. Evaluation of MHC class II genes in33 CBD cases and 44 controls has shown a negative association withHLA-DPB1*0401 (P < 0.001) and a positive association withHLA-DPB1*0201 (P &tl; 0.05) alleles, which differ at residues 36, 55to 56, and 69 of the beta 1 chain. Among CBD cases, 97 percentexpressed the HLA-DPB1*0201-associated glutamic acid (unaffectedpopulation, 30 percent; P < 0.001) at residue 69, a positioninvolved in susceptibility to autoimmune disorders. This suggests thatHLA-DP has a role in conferring susceptibility and that residue 69 ofHLA-DPB1 could be used in risk assessment for CBD.

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