Prof. Ronald Bontrop
The MHC represents a polygenic family of genes that are playing a major role in the generation of adaptive immune responses. The key feature of the MHC is its extensive allelic heterogeneity in concert with copy number variation. On top of that transcription levels appear to display heterogeneity as well. The MHC is highly plastic, and comparative genetic studies in primates even suggest that “what can be polymorphic is polymorphic”.