Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Response to Pathogens Is in the Genes

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Sci. Signal.  16 Sep 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 343, pp. ec255
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005895

T cells are important in mounting immune responses to a host of pathogens, and they have also been implicated in autoimmune disease. By examining the variability in gene expression in stimulated T cells over time from a multiethnic cohort of healthy humans, Ye et al. identified specific genetic polymorphisms that explain differences among individuals in response to pathogens. Furthermore, a candidate gene approach led to the identification of a single-nucleotide polymorphism that controls the response of the autoimmune-associated IL2RA gene. This study helps us understand the degree to which immune responses are driven by the environment or by an individual’s physiological or genetic factors.

C. J. Ye, T. Feng, H.-K. Kwon, T. Raj, M. T. Wilson, N. Asinovski, C. McCabe, M. H. Lee, I. Frohlich, H.-i. Paik, N. Zaitlen, N. Hacohen, B. Stranger, P. De Jager, D. Mathis, A. Regev, C. Benoist, Intersection of population variation and autoimmunity genetics in human T cell activation. Science 345, 1254665 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]