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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Molecular epigenetics, chromatin, and NeuroAIDS/HIV: immunopathological implications.

  • Author(s): Chiappelli, Francesco
  • Shapshak, Paul
  • Commins, Deborah
  • Singer, Elyse
  • Minagar, Alireza
  • Oluwadara, Oluwadayo
  • Prolo, Paolo
  • Pellionisz, Andras J
  • et al.

Epigenetics studies factors related to the organism and environment that modulate inheritance from generation to generation. Molecular epigenetics examines non-coding DNA (ncdDNA) vs. coding DNA (cdDNA), and pertains to every domain of physiology, including immune and brain function. Molecular cartography, including genomics, proteomics, and interactomics, seeks to recognize and to identify the multi-faceted and intricate array of interacting genes and gene products that characterize the function and specialization of each individual cell in the context of cell-cell interaction, tissue, and organ function. Molecular cartography, epigenetics, and chromatin assembly, repair and remodeling (CARR), which, together with the RNA interfering signaling complex (RISC), is responsible for much of the control and regulation of gene expression, intersect.We describe current and ongoing studies aimed to apply these overlapping areas of research, CARR and RISC, to a novel understanding of the immuno-neuropathology of HIV-1 infection, as an example. Taken together, the arguments presented here lead to a novel working hypothesis of molecular immune epigenetics as it pertains to HIV/AIDS, and the immunopathology of HIV-1-infected CD4+ cells. Specifically, we discuss these views in the context of the structure-function relationship of chromatin, the cdDNA/ncdDNA ratio, and possible nucleotide divergence in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of mature mRNA intronic and intergenic DNA sequences, and putative catastrophic consequences for immune surveillance and the preservation of health in HIV/AIDS. Here, we discuss the immunopathology of HIV Infection, with emphasis on CARR in cellular, humoral and molecular immune epigenetics.

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