Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Malaria Risk Muted in African Individuals Carrying Expression-Related SNPs

Editor's Note: The article described below is not yet available at the PNAS site but is scheduled to be posted this week.

For a paper set to appear in PNAS this week, a National Institutes of Health-led team looks at ties between malaria vulnerability and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I allotype-related expression of TAPBP, a gene coding for a peptide-loading complex component called tapasin that contributes to cell surface peptide presentation. After identifying SNPs linked to TAPBP expression in transcription factor and microRNA binding sites in individuals of African ancestry, the researchers attempted to untangle the impacts of these variants on malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum susceptibility and malaria risk. The two TAPBP expression-related SNPs "associated with lower Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence and lower incidence of clinical malaria, specifically among individuals carrying tapasin-dependent HLA-I allotypes, presumably by augmenting peptide loading," the authors report, "whereas tapasin-independent allotypes associated with relative protection, regardless of imputed TAPBP [messenger RNA] expression levels."

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.