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Cantero-Recasens G, Gonzalez JR, Fandos C, Duran-Tauleria E, Smit LA, Kauffmann F, Antó JM, Valverde MA

Loss of function of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) genetic variant is associated with lower risk of active childhood asthma.

J. Biol. Chem.. 2010 Sep;285(36):27532-5, PMID: 20639579

Transient receptor potential cation channels of the vanilloid subfamily (TRPV) participate in the generation of Ca(2+) signals at different locations of the respiratory system, thereby controlling its correct functioning. TRPV1 expression and activity appear to be altered under pathophysiological conditions such as chronic cough and airway hypersensitivity, whereas TRPV4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) are associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, to date, there is no information about the genetic impact of either TRPV1 or TRPV4 on asthma pathophysiology. We now report on the association of two functional SNPs, TRPV1-I585V and TRPV4-P19S, with childhood asthma. Both SNPs were genotyped in a population of 470 controls without respiratory symptoms and 301 asthmatics. Although none of the SNPs modified the risk of suffering from asthma, carriers of the TRPV1-I585V genetic variant showed a lower risk of current wheezing (odds ratio = 0.51; p = 0.01), a characteristic of active asthma, or cough (odds ratio = 0.57; p = 0.02). Functional analysis of TRPV1-I585V, using the Ca(2+)-sensitive dye fura-2 to measure intracellular [Ca(2+)] concentrations, revealed a decreased channel activity in response to two typical TRPV1 stimuli, heat and capsaicin. On the other hand, TRPV4-P19S, despite its loss-of-channel function, showed no significant association with asthma or the presence of wheezing. Our data suggest that genetically determined level of TRPV1 activity is relevant for asthma pathophysiology.


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