Wednesday, March 22, 2023
HomeMedicalDecreased viral an infection severity in females could also be attributable to...

Decreased viral an infection severity in females could also be attributable to additional copy of X chromosome-linked gene

It has lengthy been identified that viral infections may be extra extreme in males than females, however the query as to why has remained a thriller – till probably now. The important thing might lie in an epigenetic regulator that reinforces the exercise of specialised anti-viral immune cells generally known as pure killer (NK) cells.

In a examine revealed March 16 within the peer-reviewed journal Nature Immunology, a collaborative crew of UCLA researchers have discovered that feminine mouse and human NK cells have an additional copy of an X chromosome-linked gene known as UTX. UTX acts as an epigenetic regulator to spice up NK cell anti-viral operate, whereas repressing NK cell numbers.

Whereas it’s well-known that males have extra NK cells in comparison with females, we didn’t perceive why the elevated variety of NK cells was no more protecting throughout viral infections. It seems that females have extra UTX of their NK cells than do males, which permits them to battle viral infections extra effectively.”

Dr. Maureen Su, co-senior writer, professor of microbiology immunology and molecular genetics, and of pediatrics, on the David Geffen College of Drugs at UCLA

The researchers famous that this held true whether or not or not the mice had gonads (ovaries in females; testes in males), indicating that the noticed trait was not linked to hormones. Moreover, feminine mice with decrease UTX expression had extra NK cells which weren’t as able to controlling viral an infection.

“This implicates UTX as a essential molecular determinant of intercourse variations in NK cells,” mentioned the examine’s lead writer Mandy Cheng, graduate pupil in molecular biology at UCLA.

The findings recommend that therapies involving immune responses want to maneuver past a “one-size-fits-all” method and towards a precision drugs mannequin, also called personalised drugs, that tailors remedies that keep in mind folks’s particular person variations, equivalent to genetics, atmosphere and different elements that affect well being and illness threat, the researchers write.

“Given the current pleasure with utilizing NK cells within the clinic, we might want to incorporate intercourse as a organic think about remedy selections and immunotherapy design,” mentioned co-senior writer Tim O’Sullivan, assistant professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics on the Geffen College.


Journal reference:

Cheng, M.I., et al. (2023) The X-linked epigenetic regulator UTX controls NK cell-intrinsic intercourse variations. Nature Immunology.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments