Tobias Lenz Why Are Some Genetically Caused Diseases so Frequent in the Human Population?
© Maximilian Dörrbecker
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Why are some people more prone to sickness than others? Individual people differ in their genetic predisposition to disease. TOBIAS LENZ and his research group investigate whether historical selection by pathogens – by infectious agents – has shaped the genetic makeup of our immune system today. Their specific focus here is on whether selection by pathogens on specific immune genes, so-called HLA genes, has affected the frequency of disease-causing mutation in the neighborhood of these genes. As he explains in this video, they used both computer simulations as well as real sequencing of humans and ran a project on the genetics of medieval Europeans who suffered from leprosy. Their findings indeed support their hypothesis. This can explain, at least in part, the surprising frequency of some genetically caused diseases in the human population today.
LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10501
Ancient DNA Study Reveals HLA Susceptibility Loci for Leprosy in Medieval Europeans
- B. Krause-Kyora, M. Nutsua, L. Böhme, F. Pierini, DD. Pedersen, S-C. Kornell, D. Drichel, M. Bonazzi, L. Möbus, P. Tarp, J. Susat, E. Bosse, B. Willburger et al
- Nature Communications
- Published in 2018
Excess of Deleterious Mutations around HLA Genes Reveals Evolutionary Cost of Balancing Selection
- Tobias L Lenz, Victor Spirin, Daniel M Jordan and Shamil R Sunyaev
- Molecular Biology and Evolution
- Published in 2016