Author(s): Aaron L
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Abstract Many human genes have adapted to the constant threat of exposure to changing environmental conditions. Balancing selection is the result of an initial stage of positive selection that favors the spread in a population of a new allele until selection opposes its fixation and balanced situation is established. It is suggested that the disadvantageous celiac patients survived the last two millennias echo-catastrophes by adapting to the extreme temperature changes and their consequences in Europe. Genetic selective diversity induced by changing environment, enabled the celiac population to survive. Such a genetic positive selection is represented by the HEF C282Y mutation of hemochromatosis, SH2B3 loci and the HLA celiac disease-associated repertoire, enabling the celiac to overcome iron deficiency anemia and micro pathogen richness, respectively. The increased incidence of those evolutionary events in the celiac patients is a recent phenomenon that occurred in the latest era of the modern human history. The present hypothesis can shed light on additional selective genetic adaptations, echo catastrophe-driven that are at the basis of autoimmune disease-affected population survival and current expansion. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Med Hypotheses
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology