Association between genetic variations in prostaglandin E2 receptor subtype EP3 gene (Ptger3) and asthma in the Korean population


Sang-Heon Cho, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University, 28 Yongondong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea.


Background Recent investigations suggest that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is important in the pathogenesis of not only aspirin-intolerant asthma but also asthma unrelated to aspirin intolerance.

Objectives This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of variations in the gene coding PGE2 receptor subtype EP1–4 (Ptger1–4) on the risk of asthma in the Korean population.

Methods Nineteen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected after re-sequencing Ptger1–4 and were genotyped in 480 asthmatics and 140 healthy controls, who were randomly recruited.

Results By logistic regression analyses controlling for age and sex, 1388T>C in Ptger3 was found to be significantly associated with asthma [P=0.002, odds ratio (95% confidence interval)=0.63 (0.46–0.85) in the allele model], and this remained significant after applying the Bonferroni correction. In terms of haplotype, the frequency of the C–C–A–A haplotype in Ptger3 was significantly lower in asthmatics than in healthy controls (P=0.004). Moreover, the prevalence of this haplotype was significantly lower in moderate-to-severe asthmatics than in mild asthmatics (P=0.045; mild vs. moderate and P=0.034; mild vs. severe). However, no association was found between any genetic variation in Ptger1, Ptger2, or Ptger4 and asthma.

Conclusion The present study demonstrated that genetic variations in Ptger3 are significantly associated with the risk and severity of asthma in the Korean population.