Background Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 is a key inducible enzyme that regulates the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E2. A single-nucleotide polymorphism, −765G>C, located within a stimulatory protein-1 binding site in the COX-2 promoter region, has been shown to have significantly lower promoter activity in vitro compared with the wild-type and was associated with decreased plasma levels of C-reactive protein after coronary artery bypass surgery. We hypothesized that this polymorphism, which may result in decreased COX-2 transcription, could be associated with more severe asthma, and/or aspirin-intolerant asthma (AIA).
Objective To determine the association between the −765G>C COX-2 polymorphism and asthma, disease severity and AIA in a large, well-phenotyped Australian population.
Methods PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was used to characterize the polymorphism in an Australian Caucasian population of patients with mild (n=322), moderate (n=254) or severe (n=88) asthma and in non-asthmatic control subjects (n=512), as well as in patients with AIA (n=58). Genotype and allele association analyses were performed using χ2 tests.
Results The polymorphic −765C allele was present in approximately 30% of asthmatic patients and non-asthmatic controls. There was no association between the −765G>C polymorphism and asthma (P=0.920), disease severity (P=0.840), atopy (P=0.655) or AIA (P=0.841) in this population.
Conclusion Although the −765G>C polymorphism may have lower promoter activity and result in decreased COX-2 expression, it is not associated with asthma, disease severity, AIA or atopy in this Australian population.