A gene variant linked to Alzheimer disease also has a role in HIV progression, according to a new study (Burt TD et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105:8718-8723). Led by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, investigators discovered that a variant of the gene encoding apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a risk factor for accelerated AIDS progression and promotes entry of HIV into cells.
The researchers studied 1267 European and black individuals with HIV and 1132 ethnically matched seronegative controls. They found a much faster disease course and progression to death in patients with 2 gene copies of the APOE ε4 variant or allele than in patients with 2 copies of the APOE ε3 allele.
Hampton T. Alzheimer Disease and HIV. JAMA. 2008;300(5):496. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.496-a