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Major Histocompatibility Complex - Essay Example

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Author : mbotsford

Summary

MHC or major histocompatibility complex is characterized by immune responses. Genetic diversity is noted as the main feature of MHC and MHC is considered as the most polymorphic genetic system. MHC exercises a pathogen driven selection which is mediated through frequency dependent selection or heterozygote advantage…

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Major Histocompatibility Complex

The role of immune responses and polymorphism brings about changes to parasitic responses and individuals master immune responses against pathogenic responses. In this discussion features of the major histocompatibility complex are highlighted and the mechanisms and functions of the immune system are also discussed in terms of pathogenic reactions and the role of the MHC. The importance of genetic diversity, selective pressure and polymorphism would also be discussed to suggest evolutionary changes, genetic diversity in the population and the influence of MHC on social behavior.
A description of the MHC or Major Histocompatibility Complex could suggest that MHC is a gene cluster. The MH complex consists of four million base pairs of DNA and contains 128 genes as well as 96 pseudogenes (non-functional gene remnants). The MHC is thus a multigene family, has a large cluster of genes encoding key receptor molecules that aids in the binding of foreign peptides to immune cells and this in turn leads to a successful immune response (Klein, 1986).
The vertebrate immune system has the MHC as its core and it is a multigene family encoding receptor molecules that binds and recognizes foreign peptides for immune responses and immune cells. ...
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