Asthma is a common and chronic disease characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the lower airways leading to difficulty in breathing. In the November issue of Nature Genetics, William Cookson and colleagues report the identification of a genetic variant that is associated with susceptibility to the disease.
Cookson et al. studied a region on chromosome 2 that had previously been linked to susceptibility to asthma and related diseases. They found a particular variant near a gene called DPP10 to be significantly more common in individuals with asthma, especially in those with a severe form of the disease. The location of the variant suggests that it may affect the amount of DPP10 that is produced, rather than its activity. The protein encoded by DPP10 is a dipeptidyl peptidase, an enzyme that cleaves and activates other proteins, including cytokines, which can modulate airway inflammation. The authors suggest that DPP10 may be a new target for asthma therapy.
William O.C.M. Cookson
University of Oxford, UK
Tel: +44 1865 287607
Also available online.
(C) Nature Genetics press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza