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Distribution of HLA-A, B alleles and polymorphisms of TAP and LMP genes in Korean patients with atopic dermatitis


J. W. Kim, Department of Dermatology, St. Paul's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, 620–56 Junnong 2-dong, Dongdaemun-ku, Seoul 130–709, Korea.


Background Atopic dermatitis has been seen to result from multifactorial inheritance, with interaction between genetic and environmental factors. The genetic association may differ according to the ethnic backgrounds.

Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate the genetic factors in Korean atopic dermatitis patients by studying the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I association and polymorphisms of transporters associated with antigen presentation (TAP) and low-molecular-weight polypeptide (LMP) genes.

Methods HLA-A and B genotyping was performed in 53 atopic dermatitis patients and 184 healthy controls using the standard microlymphocytotoxicity technique. TAP1, TAP2, LMP2, and LMP7 gene polymorphisms were anaylzed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP), PCR-amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS), and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP).

Results Allele frequency of HLA-A24 was significantly increased in patients with atopic dermatitis compared to controls (P < 0.05). HLA-B alleles showed no differences in distribution between patients and controls. Genotype, phenotype, and allele frequencies of TAP1 gene also revealed no differences in distribution between patients and controls. Analysis of TAP2 gene polymorphisms showed increased frequencies of the TAP2*C allele and TAP2*A/TAP2*C genotype in atopic dermatitis patients compared to controls (P < 0.05). Distribution of LMP2 and LMP7 gene polymorphisms was similar for patients and controls.

Conclusion This study demonstrates an association of atopic dermatitis with HLA-A24 and TAP2*C alleles in Korean patients. Discrepancy with the previous reports might be related to different patient characteristics and ethnic variations.

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