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Adoption of the term major histocompatability complex


Class I and class II nomenclature eventually prevailed
Jan Klein Scientist
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So sometimes in 1973 there were... '74... there were two concepts of the H2, two nomenclatures of the H2, one was the SD-LD and the other was the class I concept... class I and class II concept that I proposed. It seems like nomenclature squabble, but at issue was something more important, and that was how to... how these two are related to each other. My insistence was that class I and class II are of the same type, that's why the use of a neutral designation of class... class of a something... of a basic similar structure was on the unity of these two, whereas the other concept, the LD-SD emphasised the difference between them so that it appeared that there is something basically different about the class II antigens, the IA antigens. Well, in the end the controversy lasted until the genes were... the products of the genes were isolated and sequenced and to some degree until the genes were cloned, but in the end it turned out to be that I was right.  That the two classes were different in the sense that they were encoded by somewhat differently structured genes but they were both members of the same principle kind. So, the class I and class II nomenclature eventually prevailed and I think the LD-SD is now completely forgotten.

Born in 1936, Jan Klein is a Czech-American immunologist who co-founded the modern science of immunogenetics – key to understanding illness and disease. He is the author or co-author of over 560 scientific publications and of seven books including 'Where Do We Come From?' which examines the molecular evolution of humans. He graduated from the Charles University at Prague in 1955, and received his MS in Botany from the same school in 1958. From 1977 to his retirement in 2004, he was the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology at Tübingen, Germany.

Listeners: Colm O'hUigin

Colm O'hUigin is a senior staff scientist at the US National Cancer Institute. He received his BA, MSc and PhD at the Genetics Department of Trinity College, Dublin where he later returned as a lecturer. He has held appointments at the Center for Population and Demographic Genetics, UT Houston, and at the University of Cambridge. As an EMBO fellow, he moved in 1990 to the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen, Germany to work with Jan Klein and lead a research group studying the evolutionary origins of immune molecules, of teeth, trypanosomes and of species.

Tags: LD-SD, IA antigens, class I antigen, class II antigen

Duration: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008