The role of genetics in the development of asthma and atopy

Malcolm N. Blumenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The mapping of complex traits such as asthma and atopy is one of the most important and central areas of human genetics. This article will present an overview of the current status of genetic studies of asthma and atopy using genome screens and association studies that have occurred in the literature since January 2003. Recent findings: Many regions of the genome have been found to have linkage with the phenotypes of asthma and atopy. Over 70 variants in candidate genes have been reported to be associated with these phenotypes. The main regions these variants have been found are on chromosomes 2q, 5q, 6p, 11q, 12q, 16q and 17q. Five potential asthma susceptibility genes or complexes have been identified using a positional approach. These are ADAM33, DPP10, PHF11 and SETDB2, GPRA and SPINK5. It is evident that environmental factors will influence the expression of genes and the ultimate clinical phenotype of asthma and atopy. Summary: The development of asthma and atopy involves many genes and environmental factors. An understanding of their genetic basis has great implications for their management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Atopy
  • Genes
  • Genetics


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