Polymorphisms in the prostaglandin E2 receptor subtype 2 gene confer susceptibility to aspirin-intolerant asthma: a candidate gene approach

Nobuyoshi Jinnai, Takuro Sakagami, Takashi Sekigawa, Miho Kakihara, Toshiaki Nakajima, Kenichi Yoshida, Shin Goto, Takashi Hasegawa, Takeshi Koshino, Yoshinori Hasegawa, Hiromasa Inoue, Naohito Suzuki, Yasuyuki Sano, Ituro Inoue
Human Molecular Genetics 2004 December 15, 13 (24): 3203-17
Aspirin-intolerant asthma (AIA) is a subtype of bronchial asthma characterized by development of bronchoconstriction evoked by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs inhibit the cyclooxygenase pathway, leading to enhancement of the lipoxygenase pathway. We evaluated allelic association of 370 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 63 candidate genes, mostly from the arachidonic acid metabolic cascade, with AIA. After two rounds of screening with 198 AIA patients, multiple SNPs in the prostaglandin E(2) receptor subtype 2 (EP2) gene were associated with AIA (P<0.05). Among the 77 SNPs identified in the EP2 gene, we selected 17 SNPs on the basis of linkage disequilibrium and allelic frequencies (minor allele frequency >0.1) for further association study. SNPs in the promoter region of the EP2 gene, uS5, uS5b, and uS7, were significantly associated with AIA (permutation P=0.039-0.001). Analysis of haplotypes constructed according to the LD pattern showed a significant association with AIA (permutation P=0.001). The most significantly associated SNP, uS5, located in the regulatory region of the EP2 gene, was in a STATs-binding consensus sequence [AIA 31.1% versus control 22.1% (permutation P=0.0016) or versus aspirin-tolerant asthma 22.2% (permutation P=0.0017)]. Although STAT1 binding was not observed in gel mobility shift assay with HeLa nuclear extract, an unidentified protein was specifically bound to the allelic sequence. In in vitro reporter assay in HCT116 cells, the site containing the uS5 allele showed reduced transcription activity. Taken together, these results suggest that uS5 allele serves as a target of a transcription repressor protein. A functional SNP of the EP2 gene associated with risk of AIA should decrease the transcription level, resulting in reduction of the PGE(2) braking mechanism of inflammation and involvement in the molecular mechanism underlying AIA.

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