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1.  A candidate gene approach for virally-induced cancer with application to HIV-related Kaposi’s sarcoma 
Like other members of the γ-herpesvirus family, human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8), the etiologic agent of classic and HIV-related Kaposi’s sarcoma (HIV-KS) acquired and evolved several human genes with key immune modulatory and cellular growth control functions. The encoded viral homologs substitute for their human counterparts but escape cellular regulation, leading to uncontrolled cell proliferation. We postulated that DNA variants in the human homologs of viral genes that potentially alter the expression or the binding of the encoded factors controlling the antiviral response may facilitate viral interference. To test whether cellular homologs are candidate susceptibility genes, we evaluated the association of DNA variants in 92 immune-related genes including 7 cellular homologs with the risk for HIV-KS in a matched case and control study nested in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Low- and high-risk gene-by-gene interactions were estimated by multifactor dimensionality reduction and used as predictors in conditional logistic models. Among the most significant gene interactions at risk (OR=2.84–3.92; Bonferroni-adjusted p= 9.9×10−3−2.6×10−4), three comprised human homologs of two latently expressed viral genes, cyclin D1 (CCND1) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), in conjunction with angiogenic genes (VEGF, EDN-1 and EDNRB). At lower significance thresholds (adjusted p < 0.05), human homologs related to apoptosis (CFLAR) and chemotaxis (CCL2) emerged as candidates. This “proof of concept” study identified human homologs involved in the regulation of type I interferon-induced signaling, cell cycle and apoptosis potentially as important determinants of HIV-KS
doi:10.1002/ijc.28351
PMCID: PMC4007164  PMID: 23818101
Kaposi’s sarcoma; Immunodeficiency; Herpes Virus 8; Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction; Polymorphism; Genetic association
2.  The Major Histocompatibility Complex Conserved Extended Haplotype 8.1 in AIDS-related Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 
Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in adjacent genes, lymphotoxin alpha (LTA +252G, rs909253 A>G) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF −308A, rs1800629 G>A), form the G-A haplotype repeatedly associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in individuals uninfected with HIV-1. This association has been observed alone or in combination with HLA-B* 08 or HLA-DRB1*03 in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Which gene variant on this highly conserved extended haplotype (CEH 8.1) in Caucasians most likely represents a true etiologic factor remains uncertain. We aimed to determine whether the reported association of the G-A haplotype of LTA-TNF with non-AIDS NHL also occurs with AIDS-related NHL. SNPs in LTA and TNF and in six other genes nearby were typed in 140 non-Hispanic European American pairs of AIDS-NHL cases and matched controls selected from HIV-infected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. The G-A haplotype and a 4-SNP haplotype in the neighboring gene cluster (rs537160 (A) rs1270942 (G), rs2072633 (A) and rs6467 (C)) were associated with AIDS-NHL (OR=2.7, 95% CI: 1.5–4.8, p=0.0009 and OR=3.2, 95% CI: 1.6–6.6 p=0.0008; respectively). These two haplotypes occur in strong linkage disequilibrium with each other on CEH 8.1. The CEH 8.1-specific haplotype association of MHC class III variants with AIDS-NHL closely resembles that observed for non-AIDS NHL. Corroboration of an MHC determinant of AIDS and non-AIDS NHL alike would imply an important pathogenetic mechanism common to both.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181b017d5
PMCID: PMC3015185  PMID: 19654554
Human Leukocyte Antigen; HIV; CD4; Multicenter AIDS Cohort NHL Study
3.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Bound to B Cells: Relationship to Virus Replicating in CD4+ T Cells and Circulating in Plasma 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(17):8855-8863.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) virions bind to B cells in the peripheral blood and lymph nodes through interactions between CD21 on B cells and complement-complexed virions. B-cell-bound virions have been shown to be highly infectious, suggesting a unique mode of HIV-1 dissemination by B cells circulating between peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues. In order to investigate the relationship between B-cell-bound HIV-1 and viruses found in CD4+ T cells and in plasma, we examined the genetic relationships of HIV-1 found in the blood and lymph nodes of chronically infected patients with heteroduplex mobility and tracking assays and DNA sequence analysis. In samples from 13 of 15 patients examined, HIV-1 variants in peripheral blood-derived B cells were closely related to virus in CD4+ T cells and more divergent from virus in plasma. In samples from five chronically viremic patients for whom analyses were extended to include lymph node-derived HIV-1 isolates, B-cell-associated HIV-1 and CD4+-T-cell-associated HIV-1 in the lymph nodes were equivalent in their divergence from virus in peripheral blood-derived B cells and generally more distantly related to virus in peripheral blood-derived CD4+ T cells. These results indicates virologic cross talk between B cells and CD4+ T cells within the microenvironment of lymphoid tissues and, to a lesser extent, between cells in lymph nodes and the peripheral blood. These findings also indicate that most of the virus in plasma originates from cells other than CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood and lymph nodes.
doi:10.1128/JVI.76.17.8855-8863.2002
PMCID: PMC136413  PMID: 12163605

Results 1-3 (3)