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Genes Immun. 2002 Nov;3(7):436-9.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with the -1055 IL-13 promoter polymorphism.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


IL-13 is strongly implicated in the development of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We previously identified an IL-13 promoter polymorphism (-1055 C to T) that is associated with allergic asthma. We now report an increased frequency of the -1055 T allele in COPD patients compared to healthy controls (P=0.002) and compared to a second control group consisting of smoking individuals with normal lung function (P=0.01). A closely linked IL-13 exon polymorphism is present at normal allelic frequencies (P=0.3 and 0.4, respectively). In addition, we observed a normal distribution of two IL-4 polymorphisms at positions -590 and +33 (P=0.2 and 0.9, respectively). These results could implicate a functional role for the IL-13 promoter polymorphism in the enhanced risk to develop COPD.

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