The VDR study will be presented at the ATS 2011 International Conference.
"Our results show that this gene variant is associated with development of COPD in Caucasian men, and provides support for the notion that vitamin D metabolic pathways may affect COPD risk," said Audrey Poon, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at Meakins-Christie Laboratories, McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. The study was conducted while Dr. Poon was doing her first postdoctoral fellowship at Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Although cigarette smoking is considered to be the main risk factor for chronic obstructive diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, only a proportion of smokers develop clinical disease. Researchers believe genetic factors also contribute to the risk of developing COPD. The vitamin D metabolic pathway has been implicated in the development of COPD.
"Several variants of genes that control vitamin D function and metabolism have been associated with COPD and other lung diseases, but results have been conflicting," Dr. Poon said. "In this study we investigated variants in two vitamin D pathway genes and their association with development of COPD."
Using DNA data from the VA study, the researchers determined the genotypes of 24 variants in the vitamin D receptor gene and 12 in the vitamin D binding protein gene in a total of 1,215 men. All subjects were free of known chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, chronic lung disease, asthma and diabetes at the time of recruitment.The VA study also offered data from repeated lung function measures conducted over 40 years, as well as smoking information for the participants.
The researchers used the lung function data to measure the time it took for participants to develop COPD, evaluating all 36 gene variants. They found variant rs3847987 of the VDR gene was found to influence the time to onset of COPD in the study population.
"We had the expectation that we would find an association of variants in one of these genes with the development of COPD," Dr. Poon said. "However, we did not expect that this particular variant in the VDR gene would be associated, since it has not been reported to be associated with COPD before."
Future studies will need to clearly determine the function of the gene variant, she added.
"More questions need to be answered before we can take any of these findings to clinical practice," Dr. Poon said. "For instance, we do not know what effect, if any, vitamin D levels would have on the risk of developing COPD and whether circulating vitamin D levels interact with genetic variants.
"Furthermore, we only selected two genes in the pathway, and there are numerous genes that are involved," she added. "If these findings are validated, then investigating the effect of this particular variant in the function of the vitamin D receptor will be important."
"A Variant In The Vitamin D Receptor Gene (VDR) Is Associated With Time To Onset Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) In Men" (Session B26, Monday, May 16, 8:15-10:45 a.m., Room 603 (Street Level), Colorado Convention Center; Abstract 17371)
* Please note that numbers in this release may differ slightly from those in the abstract. Many of these investigations are ongoing; the release represents the most up-to-date data available at press time.
Keely Savoie | EurekAlert!
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction