KIR Allele Nomenclature

Further to the KIR Nomenclature Committee reports, the website includes nomenclature reports for the individual genes. Following the success of the nomenclature used for HLA alleles, it was decided to name KIR allele sequences in an analogous fashion. After the gene name, an asterisk is used as a separator before a numerical allele designation. The first three digits of the numerical designation are used to indicate alleles that differ in the sequences of their encoded proteins. The next two digits are used to distinguish alleles that only differ by synonymous (non-coding) differences within the coding sequence. The final two digits are used to distinguish alleles that only differ by substitutions in an intron, promoter, or other non-coding region of the sequence (1).

KIR Alleles

Search for a KIR Allele by name or accession number:

To search for an allele entry enter either an allele name, i.e.; 2DL1*, 2DL1*003, 2DL1*00302 or an EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ accession number, i.e. AF285431. The search tool will then retrieve all relevant hits. Wildcards will automatically be added to the search, do not add asterisks to accession number queries. The following links provide tables which detail the official name, previously used designations, accession numbers and publications.

Evidence exists indicating that the 3DL1 and 3DS1 genes behave as alleles of the same gene. It is possible that at some time in the future the alleles of these genes will be combined under one gene name. To avoid confusion, it was decided to name the alleles of both genes in a single numerical series, thus 3DL1*001-3DL1*009 are followed by 3DS1*010-3DS1*014. Likewise the alleles of the 2DL5A and 2DL5B genes have also been named in a single series, because of the similarity of these sequences.


All references are linked to the PubMed abstract where possible.

  1. Marsh SGE, Albert ED, Bodmer WF, Bontrop RE, Dupont B, Erlich HA, Hansen JA, Mach B, Mayr WR, Parham P, Petersdorf EW, Sasazuki T, Schreuder GMTh, Strominger JL, Svejgaard A, Terasaki PI
    Nomenclature for factors of the HLA system, 2002
    European Journal of Immunogenetics (2002) 29:463-517
    Human Immunology (2002) 63:1213-1268
    Tissue Antigens (2002) 60:407-464 ( Abstract)

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