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Innate Immune Gene Polymorphisms In Tuberculosis

Abul K. Azad, Wolfgang Sadee, Larry S. Schlesinger

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ABSTRACTTuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause worldwide of human mortality attributable to a single infectious agent. Recent studies targeting candidate genes and “case-control” association have revealed numerous polymorphisms implicated in host susceptibility to TB. Here, we review current progress in the understanding of causative polymorphisms in host innate immune genes associated with TB pathogenesis. We discuss genes encoding several types of proteins: macrophage receptors, such as the mannose receptor (MR, CD206), dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN, CD209), Dectin-1, Toll-like receptors (TLRs), complement receptor 3 (CR3, CD11b/CD18), nucleotide oligomerization domain 1 (NOD1) and NOD2, CD14, P2X7, and the vitamin D nuclear receptor (VDR); soluble C-type lectins, such as surfactant protein-A (SP-A), SP-D, and mannose-binding lectin (MBL); phagocyte cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, and IL-18; chemokines, such as IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), RANTES, and CXCL10; and other important innate immune molecules, such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and solute carrier protein 11A1 (SLC11A1). Polymorphisms in these genes have been variably associated with susceptibility to TB among different populations. This apparent variability is probably accounted for by evolutionary selection pressure as a result of long-term host-pathogen interactions in certain regions or populations and, in part, by lack of proper study design and limited knowledge of molecular and functional effects of the implicated genetic variants. Finally, we discuss genomic technologies that hold promise for resolving questions regarding the evolutionary paths of the human genome, functional effects of polymorphisms, and corollary impacts of adaptation on human health, ultimately leading to novel approaches to controlling TB.