, Volume 51, Issue 8-9, pp 695-702

Evidence for association and linkage between atopy, airway hyper-responsiveness, and the β subunit Glu237Gly variant of the high-affinity receptor for immunoglobulin E in the French-Canadian population

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Following detection of linkage between atopy and chromosome 11q13 markers, association between this disorder and variants of the β subunit of the high-affinity receptor for immunoglobulin E (FcεRI-β, a candidate gene for asthma-related conditions co-localizing within the same region) was reported in Australian, British and Japanese populations. Investigations in several other ethnic groups failed to replicate these observations. Due to the complexity of defining intermediate phenotypes related to asthma, detection of such associations may have been hampered by clinical misclassifications. To assess whether the FcεRI-β gene was involved in atopy and/or airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in the French-Canadian population, we conducted a case-control study in 200 subjects using strict criteria for asthma and related conditions. The Ile181Leu and Glu237Gly FcεRI-β sequence variants were tested exploiting two amplification refractory mutation systems. No association was detected between atopy or AHR and the Ile181Leu FcεRI-β variant. However, a strong association was observed between atopy and the Glu237Gly FcεRI-β variant (odds ratio=12.25). Four large Eastern Québec families (n=106 subjects) were also recruited to perform a genetic linkage study. We observed suggestive evidence of linkage between atopy and the Glu237Gly FcεRI-β variant (Z max=2.30). This study is the first to detect the presence of an association between atopy and the Glu237Gly FcεRI-β variant in French-Canadians. Our data suggest that a susceptibility locus for atopy is located on chromosome 11q13 in this population.

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