Rob J. De Boer

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The genes encoding major histocompatibility (MHC) molecules are among the most polymorphic genes known for vertebrates. Since MHC molecules play an important role in the induction of immune responses, the evolution of MHC polymorphism is often explained in terms of increased protection of hosts against pathogens. Two selective pressures that are thought to(More)
Several studies have shown that cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) play an important role in controlling HIV/SIV infection. Notably, the observation of escape mutants suggests a selective pressure induced by the CTL response. However, it remains difficult to assess the definite role of the cellular immune response. We devise a computational model of HIV/SIV(More)
Mutations that allow SIV/HIV to avoid the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response are well documented. Recently, there have been a few attempts at estimating the costs of CTL escape mutations in terms of the reduction in viral fitness and the killing rate at which the CTL response specific to one viral epitope clears virus-infected cells. Using a mathematical(More)
Intracellular proteins are degraded largely by proteasomes. In cells stimulated with gamma interferon , the active proteasome subunits are replaced by "immuno" subunits that form immunoproteasomes. Phylogenetic analysis of the immunosubunits has revealed that they evolve faster than their constitutive counterparts. This suggests that the immunoproteasome(More)
A comparison of data on ranging, activity budgets and frequencies of social behaviour gathered over a range of group sizes for an omnivorous, forest-living monkey, the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), showed that the length of the day journey, the time spent travelling and searching for dispersed food items, as well as social tension, show a(More)
Estimation of division and death rates of lymphocytes in different conditions is vital for quantitative understanding of the immune system. Deuterium, in the form of deuterated glucose or heavy water, can be used to measure rates of proliferation and death of lymphocytes in vivo. Inferring these rates from labeling and delabeling curves has been subject to(More)
We studied whether the peptides of nine amino acids (9-mers) that are typically used in MHC class I presentation are sufficiently unique for self:nonself discrimination. The human proteome contains 28,783 proteins, comprising 107 distinct 9-mers. Enumerating distinct 9-mers for a variety of microorganisms we found that the average overlap, i.e., the(More)
The cellular immune system screens peptides presented by host cells on MHC molecules to assess if the cells are infected. In this study we examined whether the presented peptides contain enough information for a proper self/nonself assessment by comparing the presented human (self) and bacterial or viral (nonself) peptides on a large number of MHC(More)
BACKGROUND Biochemical markers of altered mineral metabolism have been associated with increased mortality in end stage renal disease patients. Several studies have demonstrated non-linear (U-shaped or J-shaped) associations between these minerals and mortality, though many researchers have assumed linear relationships in their statistical modeling. This(More)
It has recently been estimated that a single HIV-1 infected cell produces between and more than viral particles over its life span. Since body-wide estimates of the ratio of free virus to productively infected cells are smaller than and much smaller than , individual virions must be cleared rapidly. This seems difficult to reconcile with the fact that most(More)