WEEKLY UPDATE: February 15, 2020
SUMMARY: Identification of a common genetic variant that confers HIV resistance.
OVERVIEW: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) destroys the immune system by killing white blood cells that are needed to fight infection. This disease is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). CCR5 is a protein on the surface of white blood cells, that is bound by HIV and used to enter the cells. This study looked at the CCR5 gene in over 1400 individuals of European ancestry to find genetic variants that can be linked to the risk of HIV infection. The study discovered that a relatively common variant (a deletion of 32 bases) confers almost full resistance to HIV infection if present in both copies of the CCR5 gene. A CCR5 protein that harbors this variant apparently cannot be efficiently used by HIV to enter white blood cells.
DID YOU KNOW? While the genetic variant in the CCR5 gene that confers HIV resistance is relatively common in individuals of European ancestry, it’s not found in individuals of African ancestry. [SOURCE]
ANALYZED VARIANTS: rs333