Susceptibility to IDDM has been associated with specific alleles at the HLA class II loci in a variety of human populations. Previous studies among Mexican-Americans, a group ancestrally derived from Native Americans and Hispanic whites, showed that the DR4 haplotypes (DRB1*0405-DQB1*0302 and DRB1*0402-DQB1*0302) and the DR3 haplotype (DRB1*0301-DQB1*0201) were increased among patients and suggested a role for both DR and DQ alleles in susceptibility and resistance. Based on the analysis of 42 Mexican-American IDDM families and ethnically matched control subjects by polymerase chain reaction/sequence-specific oligonucleotide probe typing, we report an association of IDDM with the DPB1 allele, *0301 (relative risk = 6.6; P = 0.0012) in this population. The analysis of linkage disequilibrium patterns in this population indicates that the observed increased frequency in DPB1*0301 among patients cannot be attributed simply to linkage disequilibrium with high-risk DR-DQ haplotypes. These data suggest that in addition to alleles at the DRB1 and DQB1 loci, polymorphism at the DPB1 locus may also influence IDDM risk.

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