Next Generation Sequencing-Based HLA Typing
The HLA genes encode for the immune system proteins that recognize foreign cells and other antigens. Variations in these genes have known association with a wide variety of autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and some cancers, as well as being important for blood transfusions and tissue transplantation matching. The HLA region is highly polymorphic with extensive complex haplotypes. Sequence-based typing using Sanger capillary electrophoresis technology can be cumbersome, costly, and time consuming. 454 Life Sciences, a Roche Company, has developed a new NGS-based system for high- and medium-resolution genotyping of class I and class II loci of the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genes. Primer sets are designed for use with the company’s benchtop GS Junior and GS FLX next-generation sequencing systems – enabling high-resolution typing and unambiguous allele assignment in a single run . The solution represents a major advance in speed and quality of characterization of this immunologically important and highly variable region of the human genome. The technology development group at LMT has tested this system in collaboration with Dr. Mary Carrington prior to its release as a CORE service.