, Volume 61, Issue 11-12, pp 717-730
Date: 05 Jan 2010

KIR3DL1/S1 genotypes and KIR2DS4 allelic variants in the AB KIR genotypes are associated with Plasmodium-positive individuals in malaria infection

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Abstract

The importance of innate immunity in malaria has been suggested for early protection from maturation and multiplication of Plasmodium parasites injected via infected mosquitoes. In this study, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genes in innate immunity were investigated for an association with malaria in the comparison between Plasmodium-positive and Plasmodium-negative Melanesian individuals in the Solomon Islands, one of the most hyperendemic malaria regions in the world. The higher frequency of a pair of KIR3DL1 and KIR2DS4 was observed in the Plasmodium-positive individuals, which led to the investigation of KIR3DL1/S1 genotypes in concert with KIR2DS4 allelic variants. The positive individuals showed the highest frequency of KIR3DL1/KIR3DS1 heterozygosity, which might suggest the masking of activating KIR3DS1 by inhibitory KIR3DL1 at allelic levels to maintain the KIR3DS1-driven activation of natural killer cells diminished in controlling Plasmodium proliferation. The extended analysis with A/B genotypes further revealed the trend of parasitic positive individuals to be KIR3DL1/KIR3DS1 heterozygous in pair with KIR2DS4 nondeleted variants in a set of KIR genes inheritable as the AB genotypes. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first KIR investigation of the malaria-infected population, which strengthened the potential associations of KIR with malaria pathogenesis. The balance of inhibitory and activating KIR3D genes (KIR3DL1/S1) and membrane-bound or secreted status of KIR2DS4 alleles in the interaction with the other KIR genes in the AB genotypes might constitute a part of KIR characteristics to determine resistance or susceptibility to Plasmodium parasitic infection.