DNA length polymorphism of tetranucleotide repeat at the 5′ side of the myelin basic protein gene in Russian multiple sclerosis patients

T. V. Andreewski, F. R. Guerini, M. A. Sudomoina, A. N. Boiko, A. D. Alekseenkov, O. G. Kulakova, L. Losciale, P. Ferrante, E. I. Gusev, O. O. Favorova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The myelin basic protein gene (MBP) can confer the susceptibility to multiple sclerosis, because its protein product is the main protein component of myelin of the central nervous system and a potential autoimmune antigen in the disease. A possible association of multiple sclerosis with alleles and genotypes of a microsatellite repeat (TGGA)n, located to the 5′ side from the first exon of MBP in ethnic Russians (126 patients with definite multiple sclerosis and 142 healthy controls from Central Russia) was analyzed in a case-control study. Upon separation of the tetranucleotide repeat amplification products in 1.5% agarose gel, one can see two distinct bands that can be analyzed as two allele groups (A and B). The distribution of allele A and B group frequencies as well as phenotype frequency of alleles B and genotype frequency of A/A differs significantly in multiple sclerosis patients and healthy controls. Alleles A and genotype A/A are associated with multiple sclerosis. We also analyzed the association of multiple sclerosis with combined bearing of alleles and genotypes A and B of MBP and groups of alleles of the DRB1 gene of the major histocompatibility complex that correspond to serological specificities DR1-DR18. The comparison of subgroups of multiple sclerosis patients and healthy individuals, stratified according to HLA-DRB1 phenotypes, has shown a reliable increase in the phenotype frequency of allele B in healthy individuals and the genotype A/A frequency in patients, only among DR4- and DR5-positive individuals. No significant difference was found in the MBP allele and genotype distribution between multiple sclerosis patients and healthy individuals in combined groups of (DR4,DR5)-negative individuals, i.e., in the group of carriers of any phenotype except DR4 and DR5. Thus, MBP or some other nearby gene is involved in the multiple sclerosis development in Russians, predominantly (or exclusively) among DR4 and DR5 carriers. In this case, without stratification of analyzed individuals by the MBP alleles, multiple sclerosis is associated only with DR2(15), but not DR4 and DR5 alleles of DRB1. The results obtained are in favor of the genetic heterogeneity of multiple sclerosis, and suggest the possibility of epistatic interactions between the MBP and DRB1 genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-855
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


  • Allele polymorphism
  • DNA
  • DRB1 gene
  • Functional genomics
  • Genotyping
  • Major histocompatibility complex
  • Man
  • Microsatellite repeat
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myelin basic protein gene
  • Polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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