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Approved research

The role of epitope-binding features of HLA alleles in health and disease.

Principal Investigator: Dr Mate Manczinger
Approved Research ID: 44917
Approval date: January 8th 2019

Lay summary

HLA molecules are essential components of the human immune recognition. They induce immune-mediated destruction or tolerance by presenting short peptide fragments. These molecules are extremely variable resulting in a low chance for two individuals to carry exactly the same variants. The different variants are associated with susceptibility to or protection from different infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Noteworthy that HLA molecules also have an important role in developmental processes and non-immunological issues. A universal feature of these molecules, which could explain many of their associations could not be found yet. We have already investigated the peptide binding properties of different HLA variants computationally and found a relationship between the global distribution of different variants and their ability to bind peptides of different pathogens. Our main research questions are the following: - Which peptide-binding features of HLA molecules are generally associated with protection from infectious diseases? - Do HLA variants, which protect from many infectious diseases also confer risk to immune-mediated diseases? - Are global peptide-binding features of HLA molecules associated with complex traits and diseases with no immunological background? We are planning to carry out our research project in 3 years. We expect to find global HLA properties, which can be used as biomarkers.