Publication from the Savan Lab in Nature Immunology

Congratulations to Dr. Ram Savan, UW Assistant Professor of Immunology, collaborator Dr. Michael Gale, Jr, UW Professor of Immunology and lead author Adelle McFarland, Research Scientist of the Savan Lab, for their November 2013 publication in Nature Immunology entitled, “The favorable IFNL3 genotype escapes mRNA decay mediated by AU-rich elements and hepatitis C virus-induced microRNAs.”

The mechanism by which variations in the genetic sequence near the gene encoding human interferon lambda (IFNL) are associated with clearance of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is revealed in a report published online this week in Nature Immunology.

Ram Savan and colleagues found that one particular genetic variant produces more stable IFN-lambda messenger RNA and this leads to increased production of this anti-viral factor. The authors also find HCV tries to ‘escape’ the immune response by aiding in IFN-lambda degradation. Again, the ‘protective’ IFN-lambda variant is more resistant to this degradation process.

 The identification of this resistant IFN-lambda variant may explain why certain patients successfully clear HCV following drug treatment whereas a significant minority remain chronically infected.

The publication can be found online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ni.2758
Reference:  Nat Immunol. 2013 Nov 17. doi: 10.1038/ni.2758. [Epub ahead of print]