• Open Access

Frequencies of the tumor necrosis factor gene polymorphisms in the Korean population


H.-M. Kim, Department of Pharmacology, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-Dong, Dongdaemun-Gu, Seoul, 130-701, South Korea. E-mail: hmkim@khu.ac.kr


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a potent immuno-modulator and pro-inflammatory cytokine, has been implicated in many pathological processes. The TNFA and the TNFB genes, which encode TNFα and TNFβ, respectively, are both located on the short arm of chromosome 6 between the class I and class II regions of the HLA complex. A striking feature of the entire HLA complex is a high degree of genetic variation. Two biallelic polymorphisms in the TNFA (−308G/A) and TNFB (+252A/G) genes have been reported to be associated with TNF production and with susceptibility to inflammatory diseases. Population information on polymorphisms is essential for the study of genetic diseases. The aim of this study is to obtain accurate information about polymorphisms in the TNF genes in the Korean population. Allele frequencies of TNFA (−308G/A) and TNFB (+252A/G) were measured in 581 unrelated Korean individuals by PCR-RFLP. Allele frequencies of each polymorphism were determined and compared with those previously reported in other populations. A significant difference was found for the allele frequencies of TNFA and TNFB gene in Koreans compared with Europeans. The −308/A allele in the TNFA gene was very rare in Asians (0.008–0.096). The frequency of the −308/A allele in Koreans was considerably lower than in Europeans (0.120–0.189). Contrary to lower frequency of the −308/A allele, that of +252/G allele in the TNFB gene was higher than in Koreans (0.445) compared with Europeans (0.29–0.39). The polymorphisms and allele frequencies obtained in this study will be useful for genetic studies of common inflammatory diseases.