DRB1 Gene Patterns of Two Iranian Sheep Breeds

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran

2 Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institution of Iran, Karaj, Iran


Genetic improvement programs may improve disease resistance in animal production. The best-characterized genetic control of disease resistance and immune response in animals is the one associated with the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC). The ovine lymphocyte antigenof DRB1 gene encodes cell surface glycoproteins that initiate immune responses by presenting processed antigenic peptides to CD4 + T helper cells. DRB1 is the most polymorphic gene in sheep and it has been extensively evaluated as a candidate marker for associations with various ovine diseases and immunological traits. Aim of this study was to analyze exon 2 Ovar-DRB1 gene polymorphism in two Iranian native sheep breeds (Afshari and Zel). PCR products were characterized by the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) technique using two restriction enzymes, RsaI and HaeIII. In the studied groups of Afshari Sheep and Zel Sheep of Iran we were able to identify 9 restriction patterns (a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h and i) for the fragments of exon 2 Ovar-DRB1 gene with RsaI enzymatic digestion and 5 patterns (a, b, c, d and e) with HaeIII enzyme, including one previously unrecognized allele (c).Our results indicate that exon 2 of the Ovar-DRB1 gene is highly polymorphic in both breeds.


Dietz A.B., Detilleux J.C., Freeman A.E., Kelley D.H., Stabel J.R. and Kehrli M.E. (1997). Genetic association of bovine lymphocyte antigen DRB3 alleles with immunological traits of Holstein cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 80, 400-405.
Garcia Briones M.M., Russell G.C., Oliver R.A., Tami C., Taboga O., Carrillo E., Palma E.L., Sobrino F. and Glass E.J. (2000). Association of bovine DRB3 alleles with immune response to FMDV peptides and protection against viral challenge. Vaccine. 19, 1167-1171.
Gruszczyñska J., Brokowska K., Charon K.M. and OEwiderek W.P. (2005). Restriction fragment length polymorphism of exon 2 Ovar-DRB1 gene in Polish heath sheep and Polish lowland sheep. J. Appl. Genet. 46, 311-314.
Jamshidi R., Nikbakht Brujeni G.h., Derakhshandeh A. and Talebnia R. (2011). Exon 2 Ovar-DRB1 gene polymorphismin the Iranian Sangsari sheep. Int. J. Vet. Res. 5, 59-62.
Klein J. (1986). Natural History of the Major Histocompatibility Complex.Wiley, New York.
Konnai S., Nagaoka Y., Takesima S., Onuma M. and Aida Y. (2003). Technical note: DNA typing for ovine MHC DRB1 using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). J. Dairy Sci. 86, 3362-3365.
Kumar S., Sangwan M.L. and Rupender. (2008). Polymorphism in DRB3 exon 2 by PCR-RFLP and its association with mastitis in Nili-Ravi bread. Indian J. Biotechnol. 7, 398-400.
Li R.Y., Jia B., Zhang W.J., Zhao Z.S., Shi G.Q., Shen H., Peng Q., Lv L.M., Zhou Q.W. and Du Y.C. (2010). Analysis of the relationship between MHC-DRB1 gene polymorphism and hydatidosis in Kazakh sheep. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 23, 1145-1151.
Miretti M.M., Ferro J.A., Lara M.A. and Contel E.P.B. (2001). Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) in exon 2 of the BOvar-DRB3 gene in South American cattle. Biochem. Genet. 39, 311-324.
Mota A.F., Gabriel J.E., Martinez M.L. and Coutinho L.L. (2002). Distribution of bovine lymphocyte antigen (BOvar-DRB3) alleles in Brazilian dairy Gir cattle (Bos indicus). Eur. J. Immunogenet. 29, 223-227.
Nikbakht Boroujeni G.R., Emam M., Mahmoud Zadeh H., Hamed Monfared E. and Talebnia Jahromi R. (2009). Typing of Ovar-DRB1 second exon with PCR-RFLP technique in Iranian Shaul sheep. Iranian. J. Vet. Res. 10, 250-254.
Nikbakht G., Rezaii H., Stear M.J., Talebi M.A. and Mahmoudzadeh H. (2011). Allelic polymorphism in the second exon of Ovar-DRB1 in fat-tailed sheep. Vet. J. 192, 547-549.
Rupp R., Hernandez A. and Mallard B.A. (2007). Association of bovine leukocyte antigen (BOvar) DRB3.2 with immune response, mastitis, and production and type traits in Canadian Holsteins. J. Dairy Sci. 90, 1029-1038.
Saadat Noori M. and Siah Mansoor S. (1982). Fudamentals in Sheep Husbandry. Ashrafi Press, Tehran, Iran (in Persian).
Sambrook J. and Russell D.W. (2001). Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual.3rd Ed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York.
Sayers G., Good B. and Hanrahan J.P. (2005). Major histocompatibility complex DRB1 gene: its role in nematode resistance in Suffolk and Texel sheep breeds. Parasitology. 131, 403-409.
Sharif S., Mallard B.A., Wilkie B.N., Sargeant J.M., Scott H.M., Dekkers J.C.M. and Leslie K.E. (1998). Associations of the bovine major histocompatibility complex DRB3 (BOvar-DRB3) alleles with occurrence of disease and milk somatic cell score in Canadian dairy cattle. Anim. Genet. 29, 185-193.
Tavakolian J. (2000). An Introduction to Genetic Resources of Native Farm Animals in Iran. Animal Science Genetic Research Institute Press, Tehran, Iran (in Persian).
Van Eijk M.J., Stewart Haynes J.A. and Lewin H.A. (1992). Extensive polymorphism of the BOvar-DRB3 gene distinguished by PCR-RFLP. Anim. Genet. 23, 483-496.
Xu A., Van Eijk M.J., Park C. and Lewin H.A. (1993). Polymorphism in BOvar-DRB3 exon 2 correlates with resistance to persistent lymphocytosis caused by bovine leukemia virus. J. Immunol. 151, 6977-6985.
Yeh F.C., Yang R. and Boyle T. (1999). POPGENE. In: Version 1. 31. Microsoft Window-based Freeware for Population Genetic Analysis. University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.