Promoter polymorphism in the 5-lipoxygenase (ALOX5) and 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (ALOX5AP) genes and asthma susceptibility in a Caucasian population


Dr I. Sayers (current address), Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, PO Box 7060, Wellington, New Zealand.


Background 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) and 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (FLAP) are essential for cysteinyl-leukotriene (cys-LT) production, critical mediators in asthma.

Objective We sought to identify novel promoter polymorphisms within the FLAP (ALOX5AP) gene promoter and test the role of these and the previously identified 5-LO (ALOX5) Sp1 promoter polymorphism in asthma susceptibility.

Methods To assess genetic association with asthma phenotypes, we genotyped 341 Caucasian families (containing two asthmatic siblings) and non-asthmatic control subjects (n=184). Genetic association was determined by case–control and transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) analyses. To determine the functional role of polymorphisms on basal transcription, we generated ALOX5AP-promoter-luciferase constructs and transiently transfected human HeLa cells.

Results A novel G/A substitution at –336 bp and a poly(A) repeat (n=19 or 23) at position −169 to −146 bp were identified in the ALOX5AP promoter. Genotyping found the −336 A and poly(A19) alleles at frequencies of q=0.06 and 0.12, respectively. No ALOX5AP allele was associated with asthma or asthma-related phenotypes in case–control or TDT analyses. ALOX5AP-promoter-luciferase analyses did not support a functional role of the −336 or poly(A) polymorphism in determining basal transcription. The ALOX5 Sp1 polymorphism was predominantly homozygous wild-type 5/5 (frequency q=0.70) and heterozygous 4/5 (q=0.23) genotypes and no allele was associated with asthma or asthma-related phenotypes.

Conclusion Taken together, these data do not support a significant role for these polymorphisms in genetic susceptibility to asthma in the Caucasian population.