Navigation Links
Immune genes adapt to parasites
Date:5/25/2009

Thank parasites for making some of our immune proteins into the inflammatory defenders they are today, according to a population genetics study that will appear in the June 8 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine (online May 25). The study, conducted by a team of researchers in Italy, also suggests that you might blame parasites for sculpting some of those genes into risk factors for intestinal disorders.

Parasite-driven selection leaves a footprint on our DNA in the form of mutations known as "single nucleotide polymorphisms" (SNPs). Making sure that genetic variation (in the form of multiple SNPs) is maintained within certain immune genes over time helps ensure that the host can fend off different infections in different environments.

In the new study, Matteo Fumagalli and colleagues sift through 1,052 SNPs in genes that code for immune proteins called interleukins from roughly 1000 people worldwide. Of 91 genes assessed, 44 bore signatures of evolutionary selection, meaning that the genetic variation was neither due to chance nor to the migration of populations over time. And some of that variation correlated with the diversity of parasites that live alongside humans. The data suggests that having lots of different parasites around has shaped the evolution of our interleukin genes.

In general, parasitic worms appear to have had a more powerful influence on certain interleukin genes than smaller microbes such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. That isn't surprising, says senior author Manuela Sironi, because worms typically evolve slower than bacteria or viruses, giving their human hosts time to adapt in response. Some of the genes that were shaped by worm diversity made perfect sense, as the proteins they encode help generate the precise type of immune response required to rid the body of worms.

Other genes, however, seemed to be influenced more by the diversity of viruses, bacteria, and fungi than by that of worms. SNPs in some of these genes are known risk alleles for inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's and celiac disease. These "risky" alleles were probably maintained during evolution because they promote the kind of immune response needed to fend off viruses and bacteria. But this type of response also contributes to inflammatory bowel diseases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Maxmen
amaxmen@rockefeller.edu
212-327-8393
Rockefeller University Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Strong immune response to new siRNA drugs in development may cause toxic side effects
2. Genetic study confirms the immune systems role in narcolepsy
3. Microparticle immune response modifier shows broad effects against recurrent or metastatic cancer
4. Device protects transplanted pancreatic cells from the immune system
5. Vitamin D may exacerbate autoimmune disease
6. New evidence explains poor infant immune response to certain vaccines, says MU researcher
7. Lombardi research: Monoclonal antibodies primed to become potent immune weapons against cancer
8. A paradigm shift in immune response regulation
9. New origin found for a critical immune response
10. HIV adapts to escape immune response
11. Frogs immune system is key in fight against killer virus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... YORK , April 5, 2017 Today ... is announcing that the server component of the HYPR ... known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million ... makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites and ...
(Date:4/4/2017)...   EyeLock LLC , a leader of iris-based ... Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent ... an iris image with a face image acquired in ... 45 th issued patent. "The ... the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come to ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On April ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s ... exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health and ... Hack the Genome is the ... been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... largest Asian exhibitions for analytical and scientific instruments. This year’s symposium, organized by ... Approaches in Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic presentation will discuss novel ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kenall, ... modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for years. The ... wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Coffea arabica ... biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, participants will learn about the ... as gain a better understanding of how genomics is important for coffee breeding ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... 14, 2017 , ... Every year, millions of dollars are ... community have recently come together to address this antibody crisis and develop standards ... , The team at Thermo Fisher Scientific has arranged for an ...
Breaking Biology Technology: