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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013 May;110(5):347-353.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2013.01.021. Epub 2013 Mar 6.

17q12-21 and asthma: interactions with early-life environmental exposures.

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  • 1General Hospital Dr Josip Bencevic Slavonski Brod, University of Osijek, Osijek, Croatia.



17q12-21 polymorphisms are associated with asthma presence and severity across different populations.


To extensively investigate the genes in this region among Croatian schoolchildren in a case-control study, taking account of early-life environmental exposures.


We included 423 children with asthma and 414 controls aged 5 to 18 years. Fifty-one haplotype tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped (GSDMA, GSDMB, ORMDL3, IKZF3, ZPBP2, and TOP2). Data on exposure to smoking and furry pet ownership were collected using a validated questionnaire. Information on severe asthma exacerbations with hospital admission were retrieved from hospital notes. All patients underwent spirometry.


We found 2 SNPs (1 novel rs9635726 in IKZF3) to be associated with asthma. Among children with asthma, 4 SNPs (in ZPBP2, GSDMB, and GSDMA) were associated with hospital admissions and 8 SNPs with lung function. One SNP (rs9635726) remained significantly associated with a predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second after false discovery rate correction. Nine markers across 5 genes showed interaction with early-life environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure in relation to asthma and 2 with furry pet ownership. Among children with asthma, we observed significant interactions between early-life ETS exposure and 3 SNPs for lung function and among early-life ETS exposure, 3 SNPs (in ORMDL3 and GSDMA), and hospital admission with asthma exacerbation. Three SNPs (in ORMDL3) interacted with current furry pet ownership in relation to hospital admissions for asthma exacerbation.


Our results indicate that several genes in the 17q12-21 region may be associated with asthma. This study confirms that environmental exposures may need to be included into the genetic association studies.

Copyright © 2013 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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