Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Chemokine (C-C) Receptor 5 (CCR5)

Identified as a co-receptor for the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). The other major receptor is the CD4 co-receptor. The co-receptors are found on the plasma membrane of CD4 T cells. A 32 base pair deletion (designated 32) in the gene results in a frameshift and premature termination of mRNA translation. The resulting product cannot be utilized by the HIV-1, and is at least partly responsible for long-term survivorship in HIV-1-exposed individuals. Almost 20 mutations in the CCR5 receptor, including 32, confer immunity or variable resistance to HIV-1 penetration of CD4 T cells, with homozygotes being at an advantage relative to heterozygotes. The CCR5 co-receptor also attenuates the severity of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

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