Study objectives: Genetic polymorphisms in the glutathione S-transferase P1 gene (GSTP1) and the glutathione S-transferase M1 gene (GSTM1) have been implicated as risk factors for asthma. However, their roles in asthma pathogenesis and the interaction between these two genes have not been extensively investigated. This study, therefore, examined the relationship among GSTP1 and GSTM1 genotypes and childhood asthma, and evaluated their gene-gene interactions.
Setting: The population from three southern Taiwan communities of a 2001 national survey.
Subjects and methods: Two hundred sixty-six fourth-grade to ninth-grade schoolchildren were recruited for oral mucosa samplings based on questionnaire information. Polymerase chain reaction-based assays were performed to determine GSTP1 and GSTM1 genotypes among asthmatic subjects and nonasthmatic control subjects. Multiple logistic regression was used to adjust for potential confounding factors.
Results: All of the participants were homozygous at the GSTP1 Ala-114 locus. After controlling for age, sex, and atopic eczema, compared with participants carrying any Val-105 allele, children who were homozygotic for GSTP1 Ile-105 had a significantly increased risk of physician-diagnosed asthma (adjusted odds ratio [adjOR], 1.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08 to 3.59). A positive risk for childhood asthma was also noted on the GSTM1 null genotype but did not reach statistical significance (adjOR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.80 to 2.38). Among children with GSTM1 present genotypes, GSTP1-105 polymorphisms were associated with the increased risk of asthma. However, the reduced and statistically insignificant asthma risk was observed among those with GSTM1 null genotype.
Conclusions: We concluded that GSTP1-105 was a predictor for childhood asthma, whereas GSTM1 polymorphism might modify the risk. Our study also suggested a competitive effect for homozygous GSTP1 Ile-105 and GSTM1 null genotypes on childhood asthma.