HLA-DRB4 belongs to the HLA class II beta chain paralogues. This class II molecule is a heterodimer consisting of an alpha (DRA) and a beta (DRB) chain, both anchored in the membrane. It plays a central role in the immune system by presenting peptides derived from extracellular proteins. Class II molecules are expressed in antigen presenting cells (APC: B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages). The beta chain is approximately 26-28 kDa and its gene contains 6 exons. Exon one encodes the leader peptide, exons 2 and 3 encode the two extracellular domains, exon 4 encodes the transmembrane domain and exon 5 encodes the cytoplasmic tail. Within the DR molecule the beta chain contains all the polymorphisms specifying the peptide binding specificities. Typing for these polymorphisms is routinely done for bone marrow and kidney transplantation. DRB1 is expressed at a level five times higher than its paralogues DRB3, DRB4 and DRB5. The presence of DRB4 is linked with allelic variants of DRB1, otherwise it is omitted. There are 4 related pseudogenes: DRB2, DRB6, DRB7, DRB8 and DRB9.
HLA-DRB4; major histocompatibility complex, class II, DR beta 4; HLA DR4B; DR4; DR-4; leukocyte antigen; MHC class2 antigen; MHC HLA DR-beta chain; MHC class II antigen DRB4; DRB1 transplantation antigen; human leucocyte antigen DRB4; MHC class II antigen; MHC class II antigen HLA-DR-beta; HLA class II histocompatibility antigen, DR beta 4 chain; DRB4; HLA-DR4B