Complement receptor-1 (CR1) is a ligand for rosette formation, a phenomenon associated with cerebral malaria (CM). Binding is dependent on erythrocyte CR1 copy number. In Caucasians, low CR1 expressors have two linked mutations. We determined the Q981H and HindIII RFLP distribution in differing population groups to ascertain a possible role in adaptive evolution. We examined 194 Caucasians, 180 Choctaw Indians, 93 Chinese-Taiwanese, 304 Cambodians, 89 Papua New Guineans (PNG) and 366 Africans. PCR/RFLP used HindIII for CR1 expression and BstNI for the Q981H mutation. DNA sequencing and pyrosequencing were performed to resolve inconclusive results. Gene frequencies for the L allele were 0.15 in Africans, 0.16 in Choctaws, 0.18 in Caucasians, 0.29 in Chinese-Taiwanese, 0.47 in Cambodians and 0.58 in PNG. Allelic frequency for 981H were 0.07 in Africans, 0.15 in Caucasians, 0.18 in Choctaws, 0.29 in Chinese-Taiwanese, 0.47 in Cambodians and 0.54 in PNG. The Q981H polymorphism correlates with the HindIII RFLP in most groups except West Africans and appears to be part of a low CR1 expression haplotype. The gene frequency for the haplotype is highest in the malaria-endemic areas of Asia, suggesting that this haplotype may have evolved because it protects from rosetting and CM.
- Complement receptors