The etiology of multiple sclerosis: genetic evidence for the involvement of the human endogenous retrovirus HERV-Fc1

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Bjørn Andersen Nexø, Tove Christensen, Jette Frederiksen, Anné Møller-Larsen, Annette B Oturai, Palle Villesen Fredsted, Bettina Hansen, Kari Konstantin Nissen, Magdalena Janina Laska, Trine Skov Petersen, Sandra Bonnesen, Anne Hedemand, Tingting Wu, Xinjie Wang, Xiuqing Zhang, Tomasz Brudek, Romana Maric, Helle B Søndergaard, Finn Sellebjerg, Klaus Brusgaard & 7 others Anders Langfelt Kjeldbjerg, Henrik B Rasmussen, Anders L Nielsen, Mette Nyegaard, Thor Petersen, Anders Børglum, Finn Skou Pedersen

We have investigated the role of human endogenous retroviruses in multiple sclerosis by analyzing the DNA of patients and controls in 4 cohorts for associations between multiple sclerosis and polymorphisms near viral restriction genes or near endogenous retroviral loci with one or more intact or almost-intact genes. We found that SNPs in the gene TRIM5 were inversely correlated with disease. Conversely, SNPs around one retroviral locus, HERV-Fc1, showed a highly significant association with disease. The latter association was limited to a narrow region that contains no other known genes. We conclude that HERV-Fc1 and TRIM5 play a role in the etiology of multiple sclerosis. If these results are confirmed, they point to new modes of treatment for multiple sclerosis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)e16652
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011

ID: 34123615