Differences in asthma genetics between Chinese and other populations

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Journal Article

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Asthma, Genetics, Genome-wide association study, Next-generation sequencing, Susceptibility, GWAS, MAF, SNP




Asthma is caused by complex gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. Most asthma genes are not replicable across populations, which is possibly because of differences in the epidemiology of these genes. Our case-control association and next-generation sequencing studies revealed substantial discrepancies in the frequencies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotype blocks for asthma genes between Chinese and other populations. The minor allele frequencies for nearly half of our studied SNPs differed by 0.2 or greater between southern Chinese subjects in Hong Kong and European white populations, African populations, or both. Because genome-wide association studies for asthma have not been performed in Chinese subjects, we cannot tell whether the genomic findings of recent consortium-based genome-wide association studies are applicable to our population. In addition, our group performed Roche 454 pyrosequencing on a 100-kb area spanning each of 10 asthma loci in 24 healthy Hong Kong children. For the 17q21 locus, there was substantial variation in the haplotype structures that were constructed from 224 common SNPs among Hong Kong subjects and 6 ethnic groups under the 1000 Genomes Project. Sixteen mostly small haplotype blocks were formed in Hong Kong, whereas 6 haplotype blocks were identified in Han Chinese in Beijing and central European subjects and 11 and 19 blocks were identified in Puerto Rican and Yoruba African subjects. In conclusion, differences in allele frequencies of asthma genes and haplotype structures of asthma loci are found between Chinese subjects and other ethnic groups. These sequence variations must be considered during the selection of tagging SNPs for replicating genetic associations between populations.

Source Publication

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

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