A Haplotype Block Model for Fine Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci Regulating HIV-1 Pathogenesis
The dynamic change of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) particles that cause AIDS displays considerable variation from patients to patients. It is likely that such variation in HIV-1 pathogenesis is correlated with the genetic architecture of hosts. Traditional genetic analysis of HIV-1 infection is based on various biochemical approaches, but it has been little successful because HIV-1 dynamics, as a complex trait, is under polygenic control and sensitive to environmental changes. Here, we present a novel model for integrating mathematical functions for HIV-1 dynamics that have been well constructed into a multivariate mixture model for genetic mapping. This integrative mapping model on the foundation of linkage disequilibrium (LD)-based haplotype block analysis provides unique power to precisely detect human quantitative trait loci (QTL) determining HIV-1 dynamics and facilitates positional cloning of target QTL. The model allows for a number of hypothesis tests for the effects of the dynamic QTL on the virion clearance rate, the infected cell life-span and the average viral generation time in vivo, all of which provide theoretical principles to guide the development of efficient gene therapy strategies.