The sixth complement component (C6) has a common charge polymorphism, C6A and C6B, with similar gene frequencies in all major populations. In addition, C6B2 is also found in Japanese populations at a frequency of about 6%. Sequence analyses of the coding region of three human and ape C6 alleles indicated four nonsynonymous and three synonymous changes in C6*B2 relative to C6*A, suggesting that a recombination event occurred between C6*B2 and C6*A to give rise to C6*B. Sequence variation in a 3.86 kb region encompassing exon 3, where the causal base change of the common C6 polymorphism is found, indicated that several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were in extensive linkage disequilibrium (LD), with little differentiation among populations. Sliding window estimates of two test statistics for neutrality revealed significant values in a subregion where the replacement coding polymorphism resides, in all three human populations. These results raise the possibility that the two common C6 alleles in human populationsw are maintained by balancing selection.
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