Functional haplotypes of IL-12B are associated with childhood atopic asthma

Tomomitsu Hirota, Yoichi Suzuki, Koichi Hasegawa, Kazuhiko Obara, Akira Matsuda, Mitsuteru Akahoshi, Kazuko Nakashima, Lei Cheng, Naomi Takahashi, Makiko Shimizu, Satoru Doi, Kimie Fujita, Tadao Enomoto, Motohiro Ebisawa, Shigemi Yoshihara, Yusuke Nakamura, Fumio Kishi, Taro Shirakawa, Mayumi Tamari

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Background: IL-12 is a heterodimeric proinflammatory cytokine that forms a link between innate and adaptive immunity. Although associations between polymorphisms of IL-12B on chromosome 5q31-33 and asthma have been reported, the genetic influences of the polymorphisms and haplotype of IL-12B are unclear. Objective: To examine whether polymorphisms in IL-12B are associated with childhood atopic asthma in a Japanese population. Methods: We identified a total of 13 polymorphisms and characterized the linkage disequilibrium mapping of the gene. Three variants in the promoter and 3′ untranslated region were genotyped, and we conducted case-control and case-only association studies between those variants and asthma-related phenotypes (childhood atopic asthma, n = 297; normal controls, n = 555). Haplotype association analysis and functional analysis of these variants were also performed. Results: 3′ Untranslated region 10841C>A was significantly associated with the risk of childhood atopic asthma (P = .00062). The -6415 promoter variant, in linkage disequilibrium with the 10841C>A (D′ = 0.78 and r2 = 0.61), was also marginally associated with childhood atopic asthma (P = .051). We analyzed the 2-locus haplotype by using these 2 polymorphisms and found a positive association with haplotype CTCTAA-C (-6415 CTCTAA and 10841C; P = .00078). Furthermore, 10841C>A affects the stability of transcripts, and promoter variant -6415GC enhances the transcriptional level of IL-12B. Conclusion: Our results imply that functional haplotype CTCTAA-C, which affects the instability of transcripts and the lower transcriptional level of IL-12B, has a protective effect in childhood atopic asthma. On the basis of these findings, the IL-12B gene might be involved in the development of atopic asthma through functional genetic polymorphisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-795
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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