Susceptibility to asthma and other atopic diseases is known to be associated with elevated total IgE levels. Several investigators have linked the interleukin-4 (IL-4) gene and nearby markers located on chromosome 5q to elevated total IgE levels. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the IL-4 gene promoter region (C+33T) has recently been identified.
As part of an effort to identify genetic variants contributing to the susceptibility to elevated total serum IgE levels, an association analysis of a newly identified promoter polymorphism (C+33T) with total serum IgE levels was conducted.
The study was conducted using 240 Japanese subjects (120 asthmatics and 120 healthy controls). The IL-4 C+33T polymorphism was genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. The frequency of the T allele was 0.675 in asthmatic subjects and 0.671 in healthy controls. An anova model adjusted for age, sex and disease status suggested a genetic association of C+33T polymorphism with elevated total serum IgE levels (P < 0.05).
The data suggest that IL-4 promoter C+33T polymorphism may be one of the genetic polymorphisms that explain genetic linkage or association between elevated total serum IgE levels and markers on chromosome 5q.