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      The search for common pathways underlying asthma and COPD

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          Abstract

          Recently, several genes and genetic loci associated with both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been described as common susceptibility factors for the two diseases. In complex diseases such as asthma and COPD, a large number of molecular and cellular components may interact through complex networks involving gene–gene and gene–environment interactions. We sought to understand the functional and regulatory pathways that play central roles in the pathobiology of asthma and COPD and to understand the overlap between these pathways. We searched the PubMed database up to September 2012 to identify genes found to be associated with asthma, COPD, tuberculosis, or essential hypertension in at least two independent reports of candidate-gene associations or in genome-wide studies. To learn how the identified genes interact with each other and other cellular proteins, we conducted pathway-based analysis using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software. We identified 108 genes and 58 genes that were significantly associated with asthma and COPD in at least two independent studies, respectively. These susceptibility genes were grouped into networks based on functional annotation: 12 (for asthma) and eleven (for COPD) networks were identified. Analysis of the networks for overlap between the two diseases revealed that the networks form a single complex network with 229 overlapping molecules. These overlapping molecules are significantly involved in canonical pathways including the “aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling,” “role of cytokines in mediating communication between immune cells,” “glucocorticoid receptor signaling,” and “IL-12 signaling and production in macrophages” pathways. The Jaccard similarity index for the comparison between asthma and COPD was 0.81 for the network-level comparison, and the odds ratio was 3.62 ( P < 0.0001) for the asthma/COPD pair in comparison with the tuberculosis/ essential hypertension pair. In conclusion, although the identification of asthma and COPD networks is still far from complete, these networks may be used as frameworks for integrating other genome-scale information including expression profiling and phenotypic analysis. Network overlap between asthma and COPD may indicate significant overlap between the pathobiology of these two diseases, which are thought to be genetically related.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Immunology of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

           Peter Barnes (2008)
          Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are both obstructive airway diseases that involve chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract, but the type of inflammation is markedly different between these diseases, with different patterns of inflammatory cells and mediators being involved. As described in this Review, these inflammatory profiles are largely determined by the involvement of different immune cells, which orchestrate the recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells that drive the distinct patterns of structural changes in these diseases. However, it is now becoming clear that the distinction between these diseases becomes blurred in patients with severe asthma, in asthmatic subjects who smoke and during acute exacerbations. This has important implications for the development of new therapies.
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            Association of the ADAM33 gene with asthma and bronchial hyperresponsiveness.

            Asthma is a common respiratory disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. Although environmental factors such as allergen exposure are risk factors in the development of asthma, both twin and family studies point to a strong genetic component. To date, linkage studies have identified more than a dozen genomic regions linked to asthma. In this study, we performed a genome-wide scan on 460 Caucasian families and identified a locus on chromosome 20p13 that was linked to asthma (log(10) of the likelihood ratio (LOD), 2.94) and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (LOD, 3.93). A survey of 135 polymorphisms in 23 genes identified the ADAM33 gene as being significantly associated with asthma using case-control, transmission disequilibrium and haplotype analyses (P = 0.04 0.000003). ADAM proteins are membrane-anchored metalloproteases with diverse functions, which include the shedding of cell-surface proteins such as cytokines and cytokine receptors. The identification and characterization of ADAM33, a putative asthma susceptibility gene identified by positional cloning in an outbred population, should provide insights into the pathogenesis and natural history of this common disease.
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              Discovering susceptibility genes for asthma and allergy.

              Asthma and asthma-related traits are complex diseases with strong genetic and environmental components. Rapid progress in asthma genetics has led to the identification of several candidate genes that are associated with asthma-related traits. Typically the phenotypic impact of each of these genes, including the ones most often replicated in association studies, is mild, but larger effects may occur when multiple variants synergize within a permissive environmental context. Despite the achievements made in asthma genetics formidable challenges remain. The development of novel, powerful tools for gene discovery, and a closer integration of genetics and biology, should help to overcome these challenges.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2013
                2013
                25 January 2013
                : 8
                : 65-78
                Affiliations
                Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Nobuyuki Hizawa Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan Tel/Fax +81 298 533 144 EmaILnhizawa@ 123456md.tsukuba.ac.jp
                Article
                copd-8-065
                10.2147/COPD.S39617
                3558318
                23378757
                © 2013 Kaneko et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                copd, asthma, network, common pathways, aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling

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