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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, July 1994; 6(2)

MHC Database Combines Map and Sequence Data

Investigators at the U.K. Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) have compiled much of the available human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genetic and physical data into a publicly available database. MHCDB uses software developed for the Caenorhabditis elegans project to access, retrieve, and display MHC data. Information in release 1-0 includes

  • locations of over 100 genes and markers on the chromosome 6 genetic map and 69 yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) and 211 cosmid clones on the MHC physical map,
  • 150 kb of genomic sequence with the exact location of gene structural elements such as exon-intron boundaries,
  • elements such as promoters and repetitive elements,
  • 294 cDNA sequences of polymorphic class I and class II MHC genes, and
  • atomic coordinates of the class I HLA-A antigen.

MHCDB also has a tool for examining the antigen's structure from within the database and the ability to examine the variability of class I allele sequences within the three-dimensional structure of the class I antigen. Other features will appear in future extensions to the core of ACEDB, the C. elegans database. These will include interfaces to sequence- analysis software such as GRAIL, which detects coding regions in human sequences, and to the Pythia programs, which find repetitive elements and classify Alu repeats into Alu subfamilies. Information on Alu repeats can provide insights into MHC evolution.

MHCDB is funded by the European Economic Community's BioMed1 program.


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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v6n2).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.