Saturday, February 10, 2018

Genome-Specific Responses to Infection

A prior post listed 7 assertions regarding the role of infectious organisms on the human genome. In the next few blogs we'll look at each assertion, in excerpts from Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease. Here's the third:

A good portion of the genes in humans (perhaps 10%) are involved in responses to infectious organisms.

It has been estimated that over 1000 human genes are involved in inflammation pathways [37]. Several studies have shown that following an inflammatory challenge or challenged by the introduction of a pathogen, more than a hundred genes are activated [38–40]. The activated genes include some of the same genes that have been associated with autoimmune diseases, suggesting that these disease-associated genes are conserved because they have a beneficial role, protecting us from invading pathogens [39]. The genetic profile of genes activated by inflammation is very similar from human to human, but quite dissimilar from the profile of genes activated by inflammation in the mouse [41]. This would suggest that species develop their own genome-wide responses to agents that cause inflammation (e.g., invading organisms).

- Jules Berman

key words: precision medicine, evolution, virus, viral, jules j berman Ph.D. M.D.

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