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1.  Evaluation of IL10, IL19, and IL20 gene polymorphisms and chronic hepatitis B infection outcome 
Hepatitis B viral infection remains a serious global health problem despite the availability of a highly effective vaccine. Approximately 5% of HBV-infected adults develop chronic hepatitis B, which may result in liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Variants of interleukin-10 (IL10) have been previously associated with chronic hepatitis B infection and progression to hepatocellular carcinoma. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, n = 42) from the IL10, IL19, and IL20 gene regions were examined for an association with HBV infection outcome, either chronic or recovered, in a nested case-control study of African Americans and European Americans. Among African Americans, three nominally statistically significant SNP associations in IL10, two in IL20, and one haplotype association were observed with different HBV infection outcomes (P = 0.005–0.04). The SNP, rs1518108, in IL20 nominally deviated significantly from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in African Americans, with a large excess of heterozygotes in chronic HBV-infected cases (P = 0.0006), which suggests a strong genetic effect. Among European Americans, a nominally statistically significant SNP association in IL20, as well as an IL20 haplotype were associated with HBV recovery (P = 0.01–0.04). These results suggest that IL10 and IL20 gene variants influence HBV infection outcome and encourage the pursuit of further studies of these cytokines in HBV pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2874896  PMID: 18479293
Interleukin-10; Inflammation; African American; Immunogenetics; Hepatitis b; HIV co-infection
2.  Genome and gene alterations by insertions and deletions in the evolution of human and chimpanzee chromosome 22 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:51.
Understanding structure and function of human genome requires knowledge of genomes of our closest living relatives, the primates. Nucleotide insertions and deletions (indels) play a significant role in differentiation that underlies phenotypic differences between humans and chimpanzees. In this study, we evaluated distribution, evolutionary history, and function of indels found by comparing syntenic regions of the human and chimpanzee genomes.
Specifically, we identified 6,279 indels of 10 bp or greater in a ~33 Mb alignment between human and chimpanzee chromosome 22. After the exclusion of those in repetitive DNA, 1,429 or 23% of indels still remained. This group was characterized according to the local or genome-wide repetitive nature, size, location relative to genes, and other genomic features. We defined three major classes of these indels, using local structure analysis: (i) those indels found uniquely without additional copies of indel sequence in the surrounding (10 Kb) region, (ii) those with at least one exact copy found nearby, and (iii) those with similar but not identical copies found locally. Among these classes, we encountered a high number of exactly repeated indel sequences, most likely due to recent duplications. Many of these indels (683 of 1,429) were in proximity of known human genes. Coding sequences and splice sites contained significantly fewer of these indels than expected from random expectations, suggesting that selection is a factor in limiting their persistence. A subset of indels from coding regions was experimentally validated and their impacts were predicted based on direct sequencing in several human populations as well as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and two subspecies of orangutans.
Our analysis demonstrates that while indels are distributed essentially randomly in intergenic and intronic genomic regions, they are significantly under-represented in coding sequences. There are substantial differences in representation of indel classes among genomic elements, most likely caused by differences in their evolutionary histories. Using local sequence context, we predicted origins and phylogenetic relationships of gene-impacting indels in primate species. These results suggest that genome plasticity is a major force behind speciation events separating the great ape lineages.
PMCID: PMC2654908  PMID: 19171065

Results 1-2 (2)