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Keywords:

  • aeroallergen;
  • asthma;
  • early growth response-1;
  • genetic polymorphism;
  • immunoglobulin E

Early growth response-1 (Egr-1) is expressed in human airways and found to modulate tumor necrosis factor, immunoglobulin E (IgE), airway responsiveness, and interleukin-13-induced inflammation in mice. We investigated the effects of Chinese-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of Egr-1 on asthma traits in 298 Chinese asthmatic children and 175 controls, and a replication community cohort of 191 controls. Tag SNP (−4071 A[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]G) and three additional SNPs (−1427 C[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]T, −151 C[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]T and IVS1 −42 C[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]T) were genotyped by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Significant associations were found between plasma total IgE concentration and −4071 A[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]G (p = 0.008) and IVS1 −42 C[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]T (p = 0.027) in asthmatic patients. After Bonferroni correction, only −4071 A[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]G showed significant association. Multivariate regression analysis confirmed this significant association with a standardized coefficient β of 0.156 (95% CI: 0.046–0.317; p = 0.009) in asthmatics among the three SNPs with age and gender-adjusted. In −4071 A[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]G, IgElog was significantly higher in patients with the GG genotype than the AA genotype (p = 0.009). In addition, −4071 A[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]G was significantly associated with atopy (p = 0.016) and high total IgE concentration (p = 0.030) among asthmatics. Patients with the G allele had a 3.5-fold risk of having atopy and a 2.0-fold risk of having high total IgE concentration than those homozygous for the A allele. This is the first report to show significant association of Egr-1 polymorphisms with plasma total IgE and atopy in asthmatics. It may help to explore the pharmacogenetics of Egr-1 inhibitors.