Association between polymorphisms on chromosome 17q12-q21 and rhinovirus-induced interferon responses

Eteri Regis, Sara Fontanella, John Curtin, Angela Pinot de Moira , Michael R. Edwards, Clare Murray, Angela Simpson, Sebastian L Johnston, Adnan Custovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes on chromosome 17q12-q21 are associated with childhood-onset asthma and rhinovirus-induced wheezing. There is little mechanistic data linking chromosome 17q12-q21 to wheezing illness.

Objective: To investigate whether 17q12-q21 risk alleles may be associated with impaired interferon (IFN) responses to rhinovirus.

Methods: In a population-based birth cohort of European ancestry, we stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with rhinovirus-A1 (RV-A1) and rhinovirus-A16 (RV-A16) and measured IFN and IFN-induced chemokine CXCL10/IP10 responses in supernatants. We investigated associations between virus-induced cytokines and six SNPs in 17q12-q21. Bayesian profile regression was applied to identify clusters of individuals with different immune response profiles and genetic variants.

Results: Five SNPs (in high linkage disequilibrium, r^2≥0.8). were significantly associated with RV-A1-induced IFN-β (rs9303277: P=0.010; rs11557467: P=0.012; rs2290400: P=0.006; rs7216389: P=0.008; rs8079416: P=0.005). A reduction in RV-A1-induced IFN-β was observed among individuals carrying asthma risk alleles. There were no significant associations for RV-A1-induced IFN-α or CXCL10, or for any RV-A16-induced IFN/CXCL10. Bayesian profile regression analysis identified three clusters which differed in IFN-β induction to RV-A1 (low, medium and high). The typical genetic profile of the cluster associated with low RV-A1-induced IFN-β responses was characterised by a very high probability of being homozygous for the asthma risk allele for all SNPs. Children with persistent wheeze were almost 3-times more likely to be in clusters with reduced/average RV-A1-induced IFN- β responses than in the high immune response cluster.

Conclusions: Polymorphisms on chromosome 17q12-q21 are associated with rhinovirus-induced IFN-β, suggesting a novel mechanism (impaired IFN-β induction) linking 17q12-q21 risk alleles with asthma/wheeze.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Feb 2024


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