Killer Ig-like receptors (KIRs) are implicated in protection from multiple pathogens including HIV, human papillomavirus, and malaria. Nonhuman primates such as rhesus and cynomolgus macaques are important models for the study of human pathogens; however, KIR genetics in nonhuman primates are poorly defined. Understanding KIR allelic diversity and genomic organization are essential prerequisites to evaluate NK cell responses in macaques. In this study, we present a complete characterization of KIRs in Mauritian cynomolgus macaques, a geographically isolated population. In this study we demonstrate that only eight KIR haplotypes are present in the entire population and characterize the gene content of each. Using the simplified genetics of this population, we construct a model for macaque KIR genomic organization, defining four putative KIR3DL loci, one KIR3DH, two KIR2DL, and one KIR1D. We further demonstrate that loci defined in Mauritian cynomolgus macaques can be applied to rhesus macaques. The findings from this study fundamentally advance our understanding of KIR genetics in nonhuman primates and establish a foundation from which to study KIR signaling in disease pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy