• PDCD4;
  • asthma;
  • severe;
  • childhood;
  • MYB


A previous genome-wide association study in asthma revealed putative associations that merit further investigation. In this study, the genome-wide significant associations of SNPs at the 5% false discovery rate were examined in independent groups of severe asthmatics. The panel consisted of 397 severe asthmatic adults, 116 severe asthmatic children, and a collection of 207 family-trios with an asthmatic proband. Three SNPs in the PDCD4 gene (rs6585018:G>A, rs1322997:C>A, and rs34104444:G>A) were significantly associated with severe childhood asthma (P values: 0.003, 0.002, 0.004) and total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels (P values: 0.034, 0.041, 0.052). In an independent group of 234 asthmatic children and 652 controls, PDCD4 SNPs rs1407696:T>G and rs11195360:T>C were associated with total IgE levels (P values: 0.006, 0.014). In silico analysis of PDCD4 locus showed that rs6585018:G>A had the potential to affect MYB transcription factor binding, shown to act as a PDCD4-transcription inducer. Electromobility shift assays and reporter assays revealed that rs6585018:G>A alters MYB binding thereby influencing the expression of PDCD4. SNPs within MYB itself confer susceptibility to eosinophilia and asthma. Our association between a variant MYB binding site in PDCD4 and the severest form of childhood asthma therefore suggests that PDCD4 is a novel molecule of importance to asthmatic inflammatory responses.