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High Levels of HLA-C Associated with Slower HIV/AIDS Progression

  December, 11 2009 9:28
your information resource in human molecular genetics

High levels of the protein HLA-C -- a crucial part of the immune system -- are associated with slower progression of HIV/AIDS, according to a study published online in Nature Genetics.

About 40 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, a serious disease of the immune system. Although many anti-retroviral medications have been developed that can extend the lives of HIV-positive individuals, none of these medications can cure the disease.

Previously, a genetic variant found near the HLA-C gene had been associated with expression levels of HLA-C mRNA as well as levels of HIV RNA. Mary Carrington and colleagues now extend these findings, showing that this genetic variant is also associated with HLA-C protein levels. Furthermore, the authors show that HIV-positive individuals with high levels of HLA-C progress more slowly to AIDS and that their HIV levels are significantly better controlled.

Author contact:

Mary Carrington (National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD, USA)
E-mail: carringt@mail.ncifcrf.gov

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Genetics press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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