Gene linked to cold sores…

The Los Angeles Times (Oct 29, Roan) “Booster Shots” blog reported a study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases which studied “43 families” and determined that a chromosome 21 gene known as C21orf91 may be important in determining why “cold sores plague some people and not others, even though about 70% of Americans are infected with the virus that causes the painful lesions — herpes simplex virus.”

MedPage Today (Oct 29, Smith) reported that researchers found “five haplotypes – collections of variants that are transmitted together – in the C21orf91 gene.” Two haplotypes “seemed to be neutral in terms of cold sore frequency, one was protective, and two were associated with increased susceptibility.” The C21orf91 gene “was previously obscure and was only known to be expressed in retinal precursor cells and anterior epithelial lens cells in chicks,” but experiments found “the protein associated with C21orf91 localizes to the cytoplasmic matrix.”

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