Description: Background: Evolutionarily conserved sequences likely havebiological function. Methods: To determine whether variation in conservedsequences in non-coding DNA contributes to risk for human disease, westudied six conserved non-coding elements in the Th2 cytokine cluster onhuman chromosome 5q31 in a large Hutterite pedigree and in samples ofoutbred European American and African American asthma cases and controls.Results: Among six conserved non-coding elements (>100 bp,>70percent identity; human-mouse comparison), we identified one singlenucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in each of two conserved elements and sixSNPs in the flanking regions of three conserved elements. We genotypedour samples for four of these SNPs and an additional three SNPs each inthe IL13 and IL4 genes. While there was only modest evidence forassociation with single SNPs in the Hutterite and European Americansamples (P<0.05), there were highly significant associations inEuropean Americans between asthma and haplotypes comprised of SNPs in theIL4 gene (P<0.001), including a SNP in a conserved non-codingelement. Furthermore, variation in the IL13 gene was strongly associatedwith total IgE (P = 0.00022) and allergic sensitization to mold allergens(P = 0.00076) in the Hutterites, and more modestly associated withsensitization to molds in the European Americans and African Americans (P<0.01). Conclusion: These results indicate that there is overalllittle variation in the conserved non-coding elements on 5q31, butvariation in IL4 and IL13, including possibly one SNP in a conservedelement, influence asthma and atopic phenotypes in diversepopulations.
Date: September 10, 2005
Creator: Donfack, Joseph; Schneider, Daniel H.; Tan, Zheng; Kurz,Thorsten; Dubchak, Inna; Frazer, Kelly A. et al.
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