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!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy