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Martin P.,Institute Investigacion Sanitaria Puerta Of Hierro Idiphim | Krsnik I.,Institute Investigacion Sanitaria Puerta Of Hierro Idiphim | Navarro B.,Institute Investigacion Sanitaria Puerta Of Hierro Idiphim | Provencio M.,Institute Investigacion Sanitaria Puerta Of Hierro Idiphim | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: An inefficient immune response against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is related to the pathogenesis of a subgroup of classical Hodgkin lymphomas (cHL). Some EBV immuneevasion mechanisms target HLA presentation, including the non-classical HLA-E molecule. HLA-E can be recognized by T cells via the TCR, and it also regulates natural killer (NK) cell signaling through the inhibitory CD94/NKG2A receptor. Some evidences indicate that EBVinfected B-cells promote the proliferation of NK subsets bearing CD94/NKG2A, suggesting a relevant function of these cells in EBV control. Variations in CD94/NKG2A-HLA-E interactions could affect NK cell-mediated immunity and, consequently, play a role in EBV-driven transformation and lymphomagenesis. The two most common HLA-E alleles, E∗01:01 and E∗01:03, differ by a single amino acid change that modifies the molecule function. We hypothesized that the functional differences in these variants might participate in the pathogenicity of EBV. Aim: We studied two series of cHL patients, both with EBV-positive and-negative cases, and a cohort of unrelated controls, to assess the impact of HLA-E variants on EBV-related cHL susceptibility. Results: We found that the genotypes with at least one copy of E∗01:01 (i.e., E∗01:01 homozygous and heterozygous) were underrepresented among cHL patients from both series compared to controls (72.6% and 71.6% vs 83%, p = 0.001). After stratification by EBV status, we found low rates of E∗01:01-carriers mainly among EBV-positive cases (67.6%). These reduced frequencies are seen independently of other factors such as age, gender, HLAA∗ 01 and HLA-A∗02, HLA alleles positively and negatively associated with the disease (adjusted OR = 0.4, p = 0.001). Furthermore, alleles from both HLA loci exert a cumulative effect on EBV-associated cHL susceptibility. Conclusions: These results indicate that E∗01:01 is a novel protective genetic factor in EBV-associated cHL and support a role for HLA-E recognition on the control of EBV infection and lymphomagenesis. Copyright: © 2015 Martín et al. Source

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