Interviewee: Jim Kent.
Some 220 different genes comprise what is known as the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene complex. These genes are responsible for making proteins that reside on our cell's surfaces and guard against invasion by foreign matter such as bacteria or viruses. These same genes are suspected of playing a role in certain autoimmune diseases.
(DNAi Location: Genome > Tour > Genome spots > Chromosome 6: Immunity genes > A unique cluster of genes)
You'll often see clusters of genes. A very important one is, for instance, on chromosome 6. There's a section, the major histo-compatibility locus we call it. And this is an area that is, actually, it's kind of the heart of your immune system all clustered together in this, this relatively dense area on chromosome 6. And it's what leads to rejection when you, you transplant one, one human organ into another, you know, unless they're, unless you have compatible genes at this locus it just won't go, it will be recognized as foreign and attacked. And yet this is sort of, this is the same area where the AIDS virus is doing its work and exploiting things and inside this major histo-compatibility locus.