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Respir Med. 2009 Apr;103(4):552-7. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2008.10.025. Epub 2008 Dec 25.

Genetic association analysis of COPD candidate genes with bronchodilator responsiveness.

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Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Airflow limitation in COPD patients is not fully reversible. However, there may be large variability in bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) among COPD patients, and familial aggregation of BDR suggests a genetic component. Therefore, we investigated the association between six candidate genes and BDR in subjects with severe COPD. A total of 389 subjects from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) were analyzed. Bronchodilator responsiveness to albuterol was expressed in three ways: absolute change in FEV(1), change in FEV(1) as a percent of baseline FEV(1), and change in FEV(1) as a percent of predicted FEV(1). Genotyping was completed for 122 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in six candidate genes (EPHX1, SFTPB, TGFB1, SERPINE2, GSTP1, ADRB2). Associations between BDR phenotypes and SNP genotypes were tested using linear regression, adjusting for age, sex, pack-years of smoking, and height. Genes associated with BDR phenotypes in the NETT subjects were assessed for replication in 127 pedigrees from the Boston Early-Onset COPD (EOCOPD) Study. Three SNPs in EPHX1 (p=0.009-0.04), three SNPs in SERPINE2 (p=0.004-0.05) and two SNPs in ADRB2 (0.04-0.05) were significantly associated with BDR phenotypes in NETT subjects. One SNP in EPHX1 (rs1009668, p=0.04) was significantly replicated in EOCOPD subjects. SNPs in SFTPB, TGFB1, and GSTP1 genes were not associated with BDR. In conclusion, a polymorphism of EPHX1 was associated with bronchodilator responsiveness phenotypes in subjects with severe COPD.

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