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GEN News Highlights : Apr 21, 2009

New Gene Regions Linked to HIV-1 Associated Kidney Disease

Mouse study in JCI revealed that HIVAN1 and HIVAN2 perturb a regulatory pathway and transcriptional responses to HIV-1.

A group of researchers have implicated new genetic regions associated with HIV-1 associated nephropathy (HIVAN). The study appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and is called “Susceptibility loci for murine HIV-associated nephropathy encode trans-regulators of podocyte gene expression.”

The scientists used expression quantitative trait locus analysis. The initial analysis revealed two new genetic regions associated with kidney disease in the mouse model of HIVAN: HIVAN2 and HIVAN3. Analysis of genes expressed by podocytes indicated that HIVAN2 and HIVAN1, a genetic region previously associated with HIVAN in mice, markedly affected the levels of expression of Nphs2.

The investigators noted, however, that HIVAN1 and HIVAN2 did not contain Nphs2 but regulated the expression of networks of genes expressed by podocytes, thereby impacting expression of Nphs2. As the gene networks modified by these two genetic regions were not completely identical, the authors suggest that the genes in HIVAN1 and HIVAN2 impact different points within the network.