Thu September 21 from 17:15 to 18:15
Room: Foyer, Exhibit Hall

Posters: Poster Networking Session

#Poster #25 Nomenclature for Factors of the Swine Leukocyte Antigen (SLA) System
Ho, Sam
Chief Laboratory Officer, Gift of Life Michigan — Ann Arbor, United States
IXA 2017 abstracts have been published in Xenotransplantation journal

(2017), IXA 2017- Abstracts of the 14th Congress of the International Xenotransplantation Association, Baltimore, USA. Xenotransplantation, 24: n/a, e12328. doi:10.1111/xen.12328

Nomenclature for Factors of the Swine Leukocyte Antigen (SLA) System

Chak-Sum Ho1, Joan K. Lunney2, Asako Ando3, Claire Rogel-Gaillard4, Jun-Heon Lee5, Lawrence B. Schook6, Sabine E. Hammer7.

1Histocompatibility Laboratory, Gift of Life Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States; 2Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, BARC, ARS, USDA, Beltsville, MD, United States; 3Department of Molecular Life Science, Division of Basic Medical Science and Molecular Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Japan; 4GABI, INRA, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, Jouy-en-Josas, France; 5Division of Animal and Dairy Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea; 6Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, United States; 7Institute of Immunology, Department of Pathobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Introduction: The Swine Leukocyte Antigen (SLA) system is among the most well characterized major histocompatibility complex (MHC) systems in non-human animal species.

Methods: The SLA Nomenclature Committee, which is affiliated with the International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG) and the Veterinary Immunology Committee of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS-VIC), was established 15 years ago with the primary objectives: 1) to validate newly identified SLA sequences according to the guidelines established for maintaining high quality standards of the accepted sequences; 2) to assign appropriate nomenclatures for new alleles as they are validated; and 3) to serve as a curator of the Immuno Polymorphism Database (IPD)-MHC SLA Sequence Database (, which is the repository for all recognized SLA genes, their allelic sequences and haplotypes[1][2][3][4]. The committee currently consists of 7 members from 5 countries with various areas of expertise related to swine histocompatibility and immunogenetics.

Results: Allele designation of the SLA Nomenclature System primarily adopted that of the HLA Nomenclature System with up to 4 sets of digits separated by colons (e.g. SLA-1*04:01:01:01). As serological specificity of SLA antigens and alleles is largely unknown due to the lack of serologic typing reagents, phylogenetic analysis is the primary approach for assigning alleles of the classical class I (SLA-1, -2, -3) and class II (DRA, DRB1, DQA, DQB1) loci into allele groups (the first field, e.g. SLA-1*04) based on sequence similarity in the exon(s) encoding the peptide binding domain(s). Alleles of the non-classical class I loci (SLA-6, -7, -8, -12) and the class II loci encoding the non-cell surface bound antigens (DMA, DMB, DOA, DOB1), as well as the pseudogenes (SLA-5, DRB2, DRB3, DRB4, DRB5) are designated sequentially as they are discovered, whereas the naming convention for alleles of other loci (SLA-4, -9, -11, DQB2, DOB2, DYB, MIC1, MIC2, TAP1, TAP2) remains to be determined as sequences accumulate. To date, there are 223 class I, 214 class II and 2 SLA-related (MIC1 and MIC2) alleles officially designated. SLA-2 and DRB1 each represents the most polymorphic class I and class II locus, respectively, with 87 and 89 alleles designated. There are also 61 class I (SLA-1-3-2) and 49 class II (DRB1-DQB1) haplotypes designated at allele level resolution.

Conclusion: The systematic nomenclature for SLA genes is essential to the understanding of their involvement in allo- or xenogeneic immune responses in transplantation research, as well as in swine diseases and vaccine development.

BBSRC Bioinformatics and Biological Resources Fund: “Securing and developing the IPD-MHC database to enhance research into livestock diseases”.


[1] Maccari G et al. IPD-MHC Project 2.0: an improved inter-species database for the study of the major histocompatibility complex. Nucleic Acids Research. 2017; 45: D860-D864.
[2] Smith DM et al. Nomenclature for factors of the SLA class-I system, 2004. Tissue Antigens. 2005; 65: 136-149.
[3] Smith DM et al. Nomenclature for factors of the swine leukocyte antigen class II system, 2005. Tissue Antigens. 2005; 66: 623-639.
[4] Ho CS et al. Nomenclature for factors of the SLA system, update 2008. Tissue Antigens. 2009; 73: 307-315.

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