Although intensive studies have attempted to elucidate the genetic background of bronchial asthma (BA), one of the most common of the chronic inflammatory diseases in human populations, genetic factors associated with its pathogenesis are still not well understood. We surveyed 29 possible candidate genes for this disease for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the most frequent type of genetic variation, in genomic DNAs from Japanese BA patients. We identified 33 SNPs, only four of which had been reported previously, among 14 of those genes. We also performed association studies using 585 BA patients and 343 normal controls for these SNPs. Of the 33 SNPs tested, 32 revealed no positive association with BA, but a T924C polymorphism in the thromboxane A2 receptor gene showed significant association (χ2 = 4.71, P = 0.030), especially with respect to adult patients (χ2 = 6.20, P = 0.013). Our results suggest that variants of the TBXA2R gene or some nearby gene(s) may play an important role in the pathogenesis of adult BA.
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