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See detailHLA class I allele associations with HCV genetic variants in patients with chronic HCV genotypes 1a or 1b infection
Lange, Christian Markus; Roomp, Kirsten UL; Dragan, Anette et al

in Journal of Hepatology (2010), 53(6), 1022-1028

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The adaptive immune response against hepatitis C virus (HCV) is significantly shaped by the host's composition of HLA-alleles with the consequence that the HLA phenotype is a critical ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The adaptive immune response against hepatitis C virus (HCV) is significantly shaped by the host's composition of HLA-alleles with the consequence that the HLA phenotype is a critical determinant of viral evolution during adaptive immune pressure. In the present study, we aimed to identify associations of HLA class I alleles with HCV subtypes 1a and 1b genetic variants. METHODS: The association between HCV genetic variants and specific HLA-alleles was investigated in a cohort of 159 patients with chronic HCV genotypes 1a- and 1b-infection who were treated with pegylated interferon-alfa 2b and ribavirin in a prospective controlled trial for 48 weeks by direct sequencing of the genes encoding the HCV proteins E2, NS3, and NS5B and by HLA class I-genotyping of patients. HCV genetic variants were associated with specific HLA-alleles and the binding strength of accordant amino acid sequences to the corresponding HLA-allele was assessed by using the SYFPEITHI-algorithm. RESULTS: Overall, associations between HLA class I alleles and HCV sequence variation were rare. Five unknown HLA class I-associated viral genetic variations were identified, which in part affected the binding of predicted HCV CD8+ T cell epitopes to the respective HLA-allele. In addition, different patterns of HLA class I-allele/HCV sequence associations between the two subtypes were observed. CONCLUSIONS: We identified several unknown HLA class I-restricted HCV variants which in part impair binding to predicted HCV CD8+ T cell epitopes with remarkable differences between HCV subtypes 1a and 1b quasispecies. [less ▲]

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