Aug 27, 2011

The shaping of modern human immune systems by multiregional admixture with archaic humans

Laurent Abi-RachedPeter Parham


Whole genome comparisons identified introgression from archaic to modern humans. Our analysis of highly polymorphic human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I, vital immune system components subject to strong balancing selection, shows how modern humans acquired the HLA-B*73 allele in west Asia through admixture with archaic humans called Denisovans, a likely sister group to the Neandertals. Virtual genotyping of Denisovan and Neandertal genomes identified archaic HLA haplotypes carrying functionally distinctive alleles that have introgressed into modern Eurasian and Oceanian populations. These alleles, of which several encode unique or strong ligands for natural killer cell receptors, now represent more than half the HLA alleles of modern Eurasians and also appear to have been later introduced into Africans. Thus, adaptive introgression of archaic alleles has significantly shaped modern human immune systems.

  • References30
  • Citations160


Mentioned in this Paper

Immune System
African Continental Ancestry Group
Hybridization, Intraspecies
HLA-B gene
Biological Adaptation
Receptors, Natural Killer Cell
HLA Antigens

Related Feeds

Cancer Biology: Molecular Imaging

Molecular imaging enables noninvasive imaging of key molecules that are crucial to tumor biology. Discover the latest research in molecular imaging in cancer biology in this feed.

Related Papers

Molecular Biology and Evolution
Fernando L MendezMichael F Hammer
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Michael F HammerJeffrey D Wall
© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved