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OBJECTIVES: HLA-B*27:05 is associated with AS whereas HLA-B*27:09 is not associated. We hypothesized that different interactions with KIR immune receptors could contribute to the difference in disease association between HLA-B*27:05 and HLAB*27:09. Thus, the objective of this study was to compare the formation of β2m-free heavy chain (FHC) including B27 dimers (B272) by HLA-B*27:05 and HLA-B*27:09 and their binding to KIR immunoreceptors. METHODS: We studied the formation of HLA-B*27:05 and HLA-B*27:09 heterotrimers and FHC forms including dimers in vitro and in transfected cells. We investigated HLA-B*27:05 and HLA-B*27:09 binding to KIR3DL1, KIR3DL2 and LILRB2 by FACS staining with class I tetramers and by quantifying interactions with KIR3DL2CD3ε-reporter cells and KIR3DL2-expressing NK cells. We also measured KIR expression on peripheral blood NK and CD4 T cells from 18 HLA-B*27:05 AS patients, 8 HLA-B27 negative and 12 HLA-B*27:05+ and HLA-B*27:09+ healthy controls by FACS staining. RESULTS: HLA-B*27:09 formed less B27₂ and FHC than HLA-B*27:05. HLA-B*27:05-expressing cells stimulated KIR3DL2CD3ε-reporter T cells more effectively. Cells expressing HLA-B*27:05 promoted KIR3DL2+ NK cell survival more strongly than HLA-B*27:09. HLA-B*27:05 and HLA-B*27:09 dimer tetramers stained KIR3DL1, KIR3DL2 and LILRB2 equivalently. Increased proportions of NK and CD4 T cells expressed KIR3DL2 in HLA-B*27:05+ AS patients compared with HLA-B*27:05+, HLA-B*27:09+ and HLA-B27- healthy controls. CONCLUSION: Differences in the formation of FHC ligands for KIR3DL2 by HLA-B*27:05 and HLA-B*27:09 could contribute to the differential association of these alleles with AS.

Original publication




Journal article


Rheumatology (Oxford)

Publication Date





1952 - 1962


B27 homodimer, HLA-B*27:05, HLA-B*27:09, KIR3DL1, KIR3DL2, spondyloarthritis, Adult, Alleles, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Coculture Techniques, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, HLA-B27 Antigen, Humans, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains, Killer Cells, Natural, Ligands, Male, Middle Aged, Receptors, KIR3DL2, Spondylitis, Ankylosing, Transfection