HLA Testing Services

KIR Genotyping

Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) are members of a group of regulatory molecules found on subsets of lymphoid cells. They were first identified by their ability to impart some specificity on natural killer (NK) cytolysis. The KIR locus, containing a family of polymorphic and highly homologous genes, maps to chromosome 19q13.4 within the 1 Mb leukocyte receptor complex. The discovery of KIR has imparted an additional function on the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules. Through their interaction with KIR isotypes that inhibit natural killer (NK) cell activity, certain HLA class I molecules are now known to protect healthy cells from spontaneous destruction by NK-cell-mediated cytolysis. Other KIR isotypes stimulate the activity of NK cells. The degree of HLA/KIR compatibility may determine the success rate of haematopoietic cell replacement therapy for certain leukemias.

Clinical Utility:

KIR typing is used for selecting the best hematopoietic stem cell transplant donor for recipients with multiple donors who are potential HLA-matched or otherwise equivalent. The identification of KIR genotypes can allow for an improved donor selection that may lead to enhanced engraftment and reduced graft-versus-host disease.


Kashi offers both PCR-SSO and PCR-SSP platforms for KIR typing.

Specimen Requirements:

One 5-mL EDTA (purple top) tube or 4 buccal swabs
Other anticoagulants accepted.

Shipping Requirements:

Samples are accepted Monday through Friday. Overnight shipments should be sent Monday through Thursday. Please send samples, at room temperature, along with the completed test requisition to:

Kashi Clinical Laboratories, Inc.
Attention: HLA Laboratory
10101 SW Barbur Blvd, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97219