A whole-genome association study of major determinants for host control of HIV-1 by Fellay Jacques, Shianna Kevin V, Ge Dongliang, Colombo Sara, Ledergerber Bruno, Weale Mike, Zhang Kunlin, Gumbs Curtis, Castagna Antonella, Cossarizza Andrea, Cozzi-Lepri Alessandro, De Luca Andrea, Easterbrook Philippa, Francioli Patrick, Mallal Simon, Martinez-Picado Javier, Miro José M, Obel Niels, Smith Jason P, Wyniger Josiane, Descombes Patrick, Antonarakis Stylianos E, Letvin Norman L, McMichael Andrew J, Haynes Barton F, Telenti Amalio, Goldstein David B in Science (New York, N.Y.) (2007).

[PMID: 17641165] PubMed


Understanding why some people establish and maintain effective control of HIV-1 and others do not is a priority in the effort to develop new treatments for HIV/AIDS. Using a whole-genome association strategy, we identified polymorphisms that explain nearly 15% of the variation among individuals in viral load during the asymptomatic set-point period of infection. One of these is found within an endogenous retroviral element and is associated with major histocompatibility allele human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B*5701, whereas a second is located near the HLA-C gene. An additional analysis of the time to HIV disease progression implicated two genes, one of which encodes an RNA polymerase I subunit. These findings emphasize the importance of studying human genetic variation as a guide to combating infectious agents.

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