Clinical Implications of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Diagnosis of Asthma and its Subtypes

   
Jong-Sook Park,1 Ji-Hye Son,2 Choon-Sik Park,1 and Hun Soo Chang2
 

For the past three decades, a large number of genetic studies have been performed to examine genetic variants associated with asthma and its subtypes in hopes of gaining better understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease pathology and to identify genetic biomarkers predictive of disease outcomes. Various methods have been used to achieve these objectives, including linkage analysis, candidate gene polymorphism analysis, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS); however, the degree to which genetic variants contribute to asthma pathogenesis has proven to be much less significant than originally expected. Subsequent application of GWAS to well-defined phenotypes, such as occupational asthma and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug exacerbated respiratory diseases, has overcome some of these limitations, although with only partial success. Recently, a combinatorial analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified by GWAS has been used to develop sets of genetic markers able to more accurately stratify asthma subtypes. In this review, we discuss the implications of the identified SNPs in diagnosis of asthma and its subtypes and the progress being made in combinatorial analysis of genetic variants.

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Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

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