Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Clue to Asthma Heritability

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Science's STKE  13 Apr 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 228, pp. tw139-TW139
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2282004TW139

Asthma is an increasingly prevalent condition with both environmental and genetic influences. Only a handful of candidate genes showing direct association have been identified--and even fewer have provided any clear insight into the pathophysiology. In a study of three independent patient cohorts presenting with asthma or allergy from Finland and Canada, Laitinen et al. identified inherited single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplotypes in a region of chromosome 7p. Genotyping of these risk-associating haplotypes helped to guide identification of a candidate gene encoding a G protein-coupled receptor, designated GPRA. This gene has coding SNPs that associate strongly with both asthma and the allergic phenotype, and apparently also cause alterations in expression--and possibly function--of the protein.

T. Laitinen, A. Polvi, P. Rydman, J. Vendelin, V. Pulkkinen, P. Salmikangas, S. Mäkelä, M. Rehn, A. Pirskanen, A. Rautanen, M. Zucchelli, H. Gullstén, M. Leino, H. Alenius, T. Petäys, T. Haahtela, A. Laitinen, C. Laprise, T. J. Hudson, L. A. Laitinen, J. Kere, Characterization of a common susceptibility locus for asthma-related traits. Science 304, 300-304 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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