14 gorilla class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles have been isolated, sequenced, and compared to their counterparts in humans and chimpanzees. Gorilla homologues of HLA-A, -B, and -C were readily identified, and four Gogo-A, four Gogo-B, and five Gogo-C alleles were defined. In addition, an unusual Gogo class I gene with features in common with HLA-A and its related pseudogene, HLA-H, is described. None of the gorilla alleles is identical or even closely related to known class I alleles and each encodes a unique antigen recognition site. However, the majority of polymorphic substitutions and sequence motifs of gorilla class I alleles are shared with the human or chimpanzee systems. In particular, elements shared with HLA-A2 and HLA-B27 are found in Gogo-A and -B alleles. Diversity at the Gogo-B locus is less than at the Gogo-A locus, a trend the opposite of that seen for HLA-A and -B. The Gogo-C locus also appears to have limited polymorphism compared to Gogo-A. Two basic Gogo-C motifs were found and they segregate with distinctive sets of HLA-C alleles. HLA-A allels are divided into five families derived from two ancient lineages. All chimpanzee A alleles derived from one of these lineages and all gorilla alleles derive from the other. Unlike chimpanzee Patr-A alleles, the Gogo-A alleles do not clearly partition with one of the HLA-A families but have similarities with two. Overall, gorilla class I diversity appears from this sampling to show more distinctions from class I HLA than found for chimpanzee class I.

This content is only available as a PDF.