Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Genetic Variation Raises HIV Risk in People of African Descent

Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Bookmark and Share
A genetic variation that may have protected people of African descent against a pandemic of malaria long ago now appears to increase their susceptibility to HIV infection.

A genetic variation that may have protected people of African descent against a pandemic of malaria long ago now appears to increase their susceptibility to HIV infection, a report published this week shows.

The variation, described in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, is one of the first genetic risk factors for HIV to be identified only in those of African descent, and puts a spotlight on the differences in our genetic makeup that play a critical role in susceptibility to HIV-AIDS.

In a population of 1,266 HIV-positive U.S. military personnel and 2,000 non-infected healthy personnel, researchers studied the gene that expresses Duffy antigen receptor. This molecule on the surface of red blood cells serves as the docking site for the malaria species Plasmodium vivax.

“Subjects who have a genetic variation do not express Duffy antigen receptor and are known to be less likely to contract malaria vivax,” said Sunil K. Ahuja, M.D., professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and a senior lead author of the study. “But now it turns out having this variation is a double-edged sword.”

“Duffy antigen influences levels of inflammatory and anti-HIV blood factors called chemokines,” noted Weijing He, M.D., senior post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Ahuja’s laboratory and first author of the paper. “Other as yet undefined host factors likely exert population-specific effects on HIV-AIDS, such that individuals of European or African descent are likely to have distinct host factors that affect their respective susceptibilities to HIV and AIDS.”

HIV affects 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa today, an HIV burden greater than any other region of the world. Sexual behavior and other social factors do not fully explain the large discrepancy in HIV prevalence compared to populations worldwide, the authors note.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, the vast majority of people do not express Duffy on their red blood cells,” said senior lead author Robin A. Weiss, Ph.D., of University College London. “This is one of the first genetic factors particularly common in Africans that has been shown to confer more susceptibility to HIV.”

Paradoxically, the research team noted that once people become infected, the Duffy-deficient variation actually prolongs survival. Again, this was noted in the U.S. military personnel population.

“This is a clinical cohort of people who have been followed for nearly 25 years,” said a senior lead author, Matthew J. Dolan, M.D., of the Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, Uniformed Services University, in Bethesda, Md. “The advantage is we have long-term follow-up, the population is ethnically balanced between European and African Americans, and everyone has had the same employer, health care and HIV medication access.”

Drs. Ahuja, He and Dolan; Hemant Kulkarni, M.D.; and other co-authors have published a series of papers on other genetic variations that play a role in HIV-AIDS susceptibility. “The Duffy finding is another valuable piece in the puzzle of HIV-AIDS genetics,” Dr. Ahuja said.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Critical New Insights on DNA Repair
The enzyme fumarase is key to reversing genetic damage leading to cancer and therapy resistance.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Can Cell Cycle Protein Prevent or Kill Breast Cancer Tumors?
An MD Anderson study has shown the potential of a simple molecule involved in cancer metabolism as a powerful therapeutic.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Partly Human Yeast Show A Common Ancestor’s Lasting Legacy
Edward Marcotte and his colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin created hundreds of strains of humanized yeast by inserting into each a single human gene and turning off the corresponding yeast gene.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Researchers Reveal Genomic Diversity Of Individual Lung Tumors
Findings suggest sequencing a single region of a localized tumor will identify driver mutations.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Metabolic Protein Launches Sugar Feast that Nurtures Brain Tumors
PKM2 slips into nucleus to promote cancer; potential biomarker and drug approach discovered.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Ancient Enzymes Function like Nanopistons to Unwind RNA
Molecular biologists have solved one of the mysteries of how double-stranded RNA is remodeled inside cells in both their normal and disease states.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
New Genomic Technique Uncovers Coral Transcriptome
Researchers have uncovered the larval transcriptome of a reef-building coral by utilizing a new technique for cDNA preparation.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
When she's Turned on, Some of Her Genes Turn Off
When a female is attracted to a male, entire suites of genes in her brain turn on and off, show biologists from The University of Texas at Austin studying swordtail fish.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Welch Foundation Gives $1.6 Million for Drug Discovery Research
UTMB scientist will lead computational chemistry program at John S. Dunn Gulf Coast Consortium for Chemical Genomics.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Scientific News
Poor Survival Rates in Leukemia Linked to Persistent Genetic Mutations
For patients with an often-deadly form of leukemia, new research suggests that lingering cancer-related mutations – detected after initial treatment with chemotherapy – are associated with an increased risk of relapse and poor survival.
Searching Big Data Faster
Theoretical analysis could expand applications of accelerated searching in biology, other fields.
Growing Hepatitis C in the Lab
Recent discovery allows study of naturally occurring forms of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the lab.
Inciting an Immune Attack on Cancer Cells
A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors.
Reprogramming Cancer Cells
Researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy.
Genetic Overlapping in Multiple Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Common Therapies
CHOP genomics expert leads analysis of genetic architecture, with eye on repurposing existing drugs.
Surprising Mechanism Behind Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Uncovered
Now, scientists at TSRI have discovered that the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, develops resistance to this drug by “switching on” a previously uncharacterized set of genes.
How DNA ‘Proofreader’ Proteins Pick and Edit Their Reading Material
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered how two important proofreader proteins know where to look for errors during DNA replication and how they work together to signal the body’s repair mechanism.
Fat in the Family?
Study could lead to therapeutics that boost metabolism.
Tissue Bank Pays Dividends for Brain Cancer Research
Checking what’s in the bank – the Brisbane Breast Bank, that is – has paid dividends for UQ cancer researchers.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!