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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Apr 24;98(9):5199-204.

Global survey of genetic variation in CCR5, RANTES, and MIP-1alpha: impact on the epidemiology of the HIV-1 pandemic.

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  • 1South Texas Veterans Health Care System, and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.


Expression of CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5), the major coreceptor for HIV-1 cell entry, and its ligands (e.g., RANTES and MIP-1alpha) is widely regarded as central to the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. By surveying nearly 3,000 HIV+ and HIV- individuals from worldwide populations for polymorphisms in the genes encoding RANTES, MIP-1alpha, and CCR5, we show that the evolutionary histories of human populations have had a significant impact on the distribution of variation in these genes, and that this may be responsible, in part, for the heterogeneous nature of the epidemiology of the HIV-1 pandemic. The varied distribution of RANTES haplotypes (AC, GC, and AG) associated with population-specific HIV-1 transmission- and disease-modifying effects is a striking example. Homozygosity for the AC haplotype was associated with an increased risk of acquiring HIV-1 as well as accelerated disease progression in European Americans, but not in African Americans. Yet, the prevalence of the ancestral AC haplotype is high in individuals of African origin, but substantially lower in non-Africans. In a Japanese cohort, AG-containing RANTES haplotype pairs were associated with a delay in disease progression; however, we now show that their contribution to HIV-1 pathogenesis and epidemiology in other parts of the world is negligible because the AG haplotype is infrequent in non-Far East Asians. Thus, the varied distribution of RANTES, MIP-1alpha, and CCR5 haplotype pairs and their population-specific phenotypic effects on HIV-1 susceptibility and disease progression results in a complex pattern of biological determinants of HIV-1 epidemiology. These findings have important implications for the design, assessment, and implementation of effective HIV-1 intervention and prevention strategies.

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