IPD-KIR - Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors

NAR Molecular Biology Database Collection entry number 694
Robinson J., Waller M.J., Marsh S.G.E.
Anthony Nolan Research Institute, London, UK
Contact ipd@ebi.ac.uk

Database Description

The Immuno Polymorphism Database (IPD) is a set of specialist databases related to the study of polymorphic genes in the immune system. IPD currently consists of four databases: IPD-KIR, contains the allelic sequences of Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors, IPD-MHC, is a database of sequences of the major histocompatibility complex of different species; IPD-HPA, alloantigens expressed only on platelets; and IPD-ESTAB, which provides access to the European Searchable Tumour Cell-Line Database, a cell bank of immunologically characterised melanoma cell lines.

The Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR) are members of the immunoglobulin super family (IgSF) formerly called Killer-cell Inhibitory Receptors. KIRs have been shown to be highly polymorphic both at the allelic and haplotypic levels. They are composed of two or three Ig-domains, a transmembrane region and cytoplasmic tail, which can in turn be short (activatory) or long (inhibitory). The Leukocyte Receptor Complex (LRC), which encodes KIR genes, has been shown to be polymorphic, polygenic and complex in a manner similar to the MHC. This complexity in sequences has lead to the formation of the KIR nomenclature committee. The nomenclature committee is responsible for the naming of new allele sequences and produced its first report in 2002; this was complemented by the inclusion of the KIR data into IPD. The IPD-KIR Sequence Database contains the most up to date nomenclature and sequence alignments. Also available is an online submission tool that allows the submission of new and confirmatory KIR sequences directly to the KIR nomenclature committee. Future developments of the IPD-KIR section will involve working with the KIR nomenclature committee to provide nomenclature and tools for study of the complex haplotypes and genotypes currently seen in KIR research.


P Stoehr, European Bioinformatics Institute, UK
L Guethlein, Stanford University, USA
P Parham, Stanford University, USA
CA Garcia, Anthony Nolan Research Institute, UK


1. Robinson J, Waller MJ, Parham P, de Groot N, Bontrop R, Kennedy LJ, Stoehr P, Marsh SGE. Nucleic Acids Research (2003), 31:311-314
2. Robinson J, Waller MJ, Marsh SGE. Nucleic Acids Research (2005) - Accepted for 2005 Issue.

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