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Keywords:

  • allergy;
  • asthma;
  • genetic predisposition to disease;
  • meta-analysis;
  • single nucleotide polymorphism

Background:  A genome-wide association study identified ORM1-like 3 (orosomucoid 1-like 3, ORMDL3) as an asthma candidate gene. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the region including ORMDL3 on chromosome 17q21 were related to childhood asthma risk and ORMDL3 expression levels in Europeans.

Objective:  We examined whether polymorphisms in ORMDL3 and the adjacent gasdermin-like (GSDML) gene associated with asthma in the genome-wide association study are related to childhood asthma and atopy in a Mexico City population.

Methods:  We genotyped rs4378650 in ORMDL3 and rs7216389 in GSDML in 615 nuclear families consisting of asthmatic children aged 4–17 years and their parents. Atopy was determined by skin prick tests to 25 aeroallergens.

Results:  Individuals carrying the C allele of rs4378650 or the T allele of rs7216389 had increased risk of asthma [relative risk (RR) = 1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–2.53, P = 0.003 for one or two copies of rs4378650 C, and RR = 1.64, 95% CI 1.12–2.38, P = 0.009 for one or two copies of rs7216389 T). Linkage disequilibrium between the two SNPs was high (r2 = 0.92). Neither of the SNPs was associated with the degree of atopy. A meta-analysis of five published studies on rs7216389 in nine populations gave an odds ratio for asthma of 1.44 (95% CI, 1.35–1.54, P < 0.00001).

Conclusions:  Our results and the meta-analysis provide evidence to confirm the finding from a recent genome-wide association study that polymorphisms in ORMDL3 and the adjacent GSDML may contribute to childhood asthma.