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Roche NimbleGen and BGI Develop Advanced MHC Region Capture Technology for Human Disease and Biomedical Research


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The technology is based on NimbleGen SeqCap EZ Choice Library, a revolutionary process for the enrichment of the MHC region.

This newly developed approach allows easy capture and enrichment of these highly repetitive regions and enables the generation of deep sequencing coverage of the human MHC region. This new sample preparation approach overcomes the limitations of traditional methods of PCR and genomic enrichment used for disease and drug research.

Major Histocompatibility Complex is a large cluster of genes found on the short arm of chromosome 6, covering a 3.6Mb region that includes 150 expressing genes. MHC has been shown to play a critical role in the development or progression of hundreds of diseases, including cancers, AIDs, diabetes, arteriosclerosis and leukemia. Given its integral function in the regulation of immune system, MHC has become a key target in drug research and development for a number of diseases.

MHC shows a high degree of polymorphism which complicates the studies of genes in this region, and its gene density (37 per Mb) is five times higher than the average gene density of the whole genome (7 per Mb). Because of it polymorphic nature, linkage disequilibrium, and inheritance of haplotype, MHC has been targeted for a wide range of research applications, including population evolution, paternity testing, HLA typing and organ transplant matching.

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