Using a mouse cell line transformed with and expressing a single HLA DR-alpha and DR-beta chain gene, we present evidence that the product of the DR-beta chain gene carries a supertypic determinant, BR3, previously defined by serology. The amino acid sequence of this beta chain gene is determined from the DNA sequence. Another DR-associated supertypic specificity defined by monoclonal antibody MCS7 was not encoded by this DR-beta chain gene. This provides formal proof that a supertypic specificity can be associated with a product of a distinct DR-beta locus. We propose that haplotypes sharing such specificities are evolutionarily related.

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