Asthma: Genetics


Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the small airways of the lung. It is strongly influenced by genetic factors. Specific genes have been shown to predispose to the disease by a variety of mechanisms. High‐throughput approaches towards disease gene identification are now being applied, and have already led to important insights into disease aetiology.

Keywords: asthma; atopy; IgE; allergy; atopic dermatitis

Further Reading

Cookson W (1999) The alliance of genes and environment in asthma and allergy. Nature 402: B5–B11.

Cookson W (2004) The immunogenetics of asthma and eczema: a new focus on the epithelium. Nature Reviews Immunology 4(12): 978–988.

Corry DB and Kheradmand F (1999) Induction and regulation of the IgE response. Nature 402: B18–B23.

Holt PG, Macaubas C, Stumbles PA and Sly PD (1999) The role of allergy in the development of asthma. Nature 402: B12–B17.

Kay AB (2001) Allergy and allergic diseases. First of two parts. New England Journal of Medicine 344: 30–37.

Kay AB (2001) Allergy and allergic diseases. Second of two parts. New England Journal of Medicine 344: 109–113.

Moffatt MF, Kabesch M, Liang L et al. (2007) Genetic variants regulating ORMDL3 expression contribute to the risk of childhood asthma. Nature 448: 470–473.

von Mutius E, Fritzsch C, Weiland SK, Roll G and Magnussen H (1992) Prevalence of asthma and allergic disorders among children in united Germany: a descriptive comparison. British Medical Journal 305: 1395–1399.

Ober C and Hoffjan S (2006) Asthma genetics 2006: the long and winding road to gene discovery. Genes and Immunity 7: 95–100.

Ober C and Moffatt MF (2000) Contributing factors to the pathobiology. The genetics of asthma. Clinics in Chest Medicine 21: 245–261.

Turner H and Kinet JP (1999) Signalling through the high‐affinity IgE receptor Fc epsilonRI. Nature 402: B24–B30.

Vercelli D (2008) Discovering susceptibility genes for asthma and allergy. Nature Reviews Immunology 8(3): 169–182.

Web Links

Asthma, susceptibility to; OMIM:

Ensembl. This website provides detailed information regarding the human genome, including genes, transcripts and polymorphisms.

NCBI: Entrez Gene. This website gives details of all known genes, and provides links to relevant publications.

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How to Cite close
Willis‐Owen, Saffron AG(Dec 2008) Asthma: Genetics. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005565.pub2]