Objective: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the coding region of interleukin 7 receptor (IL7R) are associated with severe combined immunodeficiency and multiple sclerosis. Based on the known mechanisms involved, IL7R has a high potential for being a candidate gene conferring allergy and asthma susceptibility. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible genetic association between SNPs in the IL7R coding region and mite-sensitized asthma in Taiwanese children. Materials and Methods: We conducted a case-control study with 82 normal controls and 200 allergic asthma patients sensitized to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae. Twelve SNPs of IL7R from a total of 282 subjects were obtained by direct sequencing and TaqMan genotyping. Results: We identified two specific genotypes, rs969129 GG and rs1494555 AA, which were present at higher frequencies in the patient group than in the control group. Moreover, the normal controls that carried these two specific genotypes appeared to have higher serum immunoglobulin E levels than those with other genotypes. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that the SNPs rs969129 (in intron 2) and rs1494555 (in exon 4) in the IL7R gene may be associated with mite-sensitive allergic asthma in Taiwanese children.
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