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Transcriptional down-regulation of ccr5 in a subset of HIV+ controllers and their family members.


HIV +Elite and Viremic controllers (EC/VCs) are able to control virus infection, perhaps because of host genetic determinants. We identified 16% (21 of 131) EC/VCs with CD4 +T cells with resistance specific to R5-tropic HIV, reversed after introduction of ccr5. R5 resistance was not observed in macrophages and depended upon the method of T cell activation. CD4 +T cells of these EC/VCs had lower ccr2 and ccr5 RNA levels, reduced CCR2 and CCR5 cell-surface expression, and decreased levels of secreted chemokines. T cells had no changes in chemokine receptor mRNA half-life but instead had lower levels of active transcription of ccr2 and ccr5, despite having more accessible chromatin by ATAC-seq. Other nearby genes were also down-regulated, over a region of ~500 kb on chromosome 3p21. This same R5 resistance phenotype was observed in family members of an index VC, also associated with ccr2/ccr5 down-regulation, suggesting that the phenotype is heritable.

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