Asthma is characterized by reversible airway obstruction and airway inflammation. Serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) might reflect eosinophilic airway inflammation and asthma activity. However, serum ECP levels are not elevated in some patients with asthma, even when they are symptomatic. In this study, we screened for polymorphisms in the ECP gene and analyzed association between these polymorphisms and asthma and serum ECP levels in 137 Japanese families identified through children with asthma. We identified three polymorphisms (-393C/T, -38C/A, and 124Arg/Thr) in human ECP. We did not find associations between these polymorphisms and asthma by the transmission disequilibrium test. However, we found that serum ECP levels in subjects with the -393T allele were significantly lower than those in subjects with the -393C allele. A reporter construct with the -393T allele showed significantly lower promoter activity than one with the -393C allele. Gel shift assay revealed that C/EBP proteins can bind the -393C/T polymorphic site. These data indicate that C/EBP proteins play an important role in the regulation of ECP and that a significant amount of the variance in baseline serum ECP levels may be explained by the -393C/T polymorphism. Although ECP polymorphisms are not likely to be involved in the development of asthma, measurement of ECP levels for the assessment of asthma activity may be improved when done in combination with genotyping of the -393C/T polymorphism.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 15 2003|
- Luciferase assay
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine