Human Hepatitis B Viral Infection Outcomes Are Linked to Naturally Occurring Variants of HLA-DOA That Have Altered Function.
Graves, Austin M. and Virdis, Francesca and Morrison, Eliot and Álvaro-Benito, Miguel and Khan, Aly A. and Freund, Christian and Golovkina, Tatyana V. and Denzin, Lisa K. – 2020
HLA molecules of the MHC class II (MHCII) bind and present pathogen-derived peptides for CD4 T cell activation. Peptide loading of MHCII in the endosomes of cells is controlled by the interplay of the nonclassical MHCII molecules, HLA-DM (DM) and HLA-DO (DO). DM catalyzes peptide loading, whereas DO, an MHCII substrate mimic, prevents DM from interacting with MHCII, resulting in an altered MHCIIpeptide repertoire and increased MHCIICLIP. Although the two genes encoding DO (DOA and DOB) are considered nonpolymorphic, there are rare natural variants. Our previous work identified DOB variants that altered DO function. In this study, we show that natural variation in the DOA gene also impacts DO function. Using the 1000 Genomes Project database, we show that ?98% of individuals express the canonical DOA*0101 allele, and the remaining individuals mostly express DOA*0102, which we found was a gain-of-function allele. Analysis of 25 natural occurring DO? variants, which included the common alleles, identified three null variants and one variant with reduced and nine with increased ability to modulate DM activity. Unexpectedly, several of the variants produced reduced DO protein levels yet efficiently inhibited DM activity. Finally, analysis of associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms genetically linked the DOA*0102 common allele, a gain-of-function variant, with human hepatitis B viral persistence. In contrast, we found that the DO? F114L null allele was linked with viral clearance. Collectively, these studies show that natural variation occurring in the human DOA gene impacts DO function and can be linked to specific outcomes of viral infections.