• Article

Genetic polymorphisms in arginase I and II and childhood asthma and atopy

BACKGROUND: A recent microarray study implicated arginase I (ARG1) and arginase II (ARG2) in mouse allergic asthma models and human asthma. OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between genetic variation in ARG1 and ARG2 and childhood asthma and atopy risk. METHODS: We enrolled 433 case-parent triads, consisting of patients with asthma 4 to 17 years old and their biologic parents, from the allergy clinic of a public hospital in Mexico City between 1998 and 2003. Atopy to 24 aeroallergens was determined by skin prick tests. We genotyped 4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ARG1 and 4 SNPs of ARG2 with minor allele frequencies higher than 10% by using the TaqMan assay (Roche Molecular Systems, Pleasanton, Calif). RESULTS: ARG1 SNPs and haplotypes were not associated with asthma, but all 4 ARG1 SNPs were associated with the number of positive skin tests (P = .007-.018). Carrying 2 copies of minor alleles for either of 2 highly associated ARG2 SNPs was associated with a statistically significant increased relative risk (RR) of asthma (1.5, 95% CI = 1.1-2.1 for arg2s1; RR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1-2.3 for arg2s2). The association was slightly stronger among children with a smoking parent (arg2s1 RR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.2 - 3.9 with a smoking parent; RR = 1.2, 95% CI = 0.8-1.9 without; interaction P = .025). Haplotype analyses reduced the sample size but supported the single SNP results. One ARG2 SNP was related to the number of positive skin tests (P = .027). CONCLUSION: Variation in arginase genes may contribute to asthma and atopy in children


Li, H., Romieu, I., Sienra-Monge, JJ., Ramirez-Aguilar, M., Estela, DR., Kistner, EO., ... London, SJ. (2006). Genetic polymorphisms in arginase I and II and childhood asthma and atopy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 117(1), 119-126.