Associations of ECP (eosinophil cationic protein)-gene polymorphisms to allergy, asthma, smoke habits and lung function in two Estonian and Swedish sub cohorts of the ECRHS II study
Background The Eosinophil Cationic Protein (ECP) is a potent multifunctional protein. Three common polymorphisms are present in the ECP gene, which determine the function and production of the protein.
The aim was to study the relationship of these ECP gene polymorphisms to signs and symptoms of allergy and asthma in a community based cohort (The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS)).Methods Swedish and Estonian subjects (n=757) were selected from the larger cohort of the ECRHS II study cohort. The prevalence of the gene polymorphisms ECP434(G>C) (rs2073342), ECP562(G>C) (rs2233860) and ECP c.-38(A>C) (rs2233859) were analysed by DNA sequencing and/or real-time PCR and related to questionnaire-based information of allergy, asthma, smoking habits and to lung functions.Results Genotype prevalence showed both ethnic and gender differences.
Close associations were found between the ECP434(G>C) and ECP562(G>C) genotypes and smoking habits, lung function and expression of allergic symptoms. Non-allergic asthma was associated with an increased prevalence of the ECP434GG genotype.
The ECP c.-38(A>C) genotypes were independently associated to the subject being atopic.Conclusion Our results show associations of symptoms of allergy and asthma to ECP-genotypes, but also to smoking habits. ECP may be involved in impairment of lung functions in disease.
Gender, ethnicity and smoking habits are major confounders in the evaluations of genetic associations to allergy and asthma.
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