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Eur J Hum Genet. 2011 Dec;19(12):1281-8. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2011.129. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Initial interrogation, confirmation and fine mapping of modifying genes: STAT3, IL1B and IFNGR1 determine cystic fibrosis disease manifestation.

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Department of Pediatrics, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, Hannover, Germany.


We have used a stepwise approach consisting of initial interrogation, confirmation and fine mapping to analyze STAT3, IL1B and IFNGR1 as modifiers of cystic fibrosis disease building upon the data and sample collection of the European Cystic Fibrosis Twin and Sibling Study. We have observed direct correlation between the length of the intronic microsatellite STAT3Sat to STAT3 expression levels among F508del-CFTR homozygous patients (P=0.0075), and an association of longer STAT3Sat-alleles with the presence of CFTR-mediated residual chloride secretion (P=0.0031), measured as the manifestation of the CF basic defect in intestinal tissue. Both, family-based analysis by TDT and case-reference comparison identified consistently the same intragenic IL1B haplotype as a risk variant (P(raw)=0.055 for TDT, P(raw)<0.3 for case-reference comparison). Using haplotype-guided hierarchical fine mapping, we have identified two single nucleotide exchanges for which concordant and discordant sibling pairs differ at a 7 kb-spanning core haplotype in IFNGR1 (P(raw)=0.0113). Taken together, our findings imply that immunorelevant pathways and ion secretion, dominated by CFTR in intestinal and respiratory epithelium, merge at the level of the epithelial cell to integrate the signaling of cytokines due to innate and acquired immune defense.

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