Smokers' COPD risk is genetic

March 11, 2009,

It's well known that puffing on cigarettes can eventually leave you out of puff. But why do a quarter of long-term smokers develop serious breathing problems, when others do not? New research published BioMed Central's open access journal Respiratory Research has found that the answers may lie in a smoker's genetics, which affect their chances of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in later life.

US-based researchers Alireza Sadeghnejad, Jill Ohar, Eugene Bleecker and colleagues from the Wake Forest School of Medicine and Saint Louis University, looked at a disintegrin and metalloprotease (ADAM) gene known as ADAM33 in 880 long-term heavy . Located on chromosome 20, ADAM33 has been linked with asthma in previous studies. This new study is unique in comparing long-term smokers with COPD versus a control group of long-term smokers without COPD.

The researchers found five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - variations - in ADAM33 that were more frequent in the COPD group than in the group of smokers without COPD. One SNP, known as S1, had a particularly strong link to lung abnormalities. "Functional studies will be needed to evaluate the biologic significance of these polymorphisms in the pathogenesis of COPD," according to the authors.

COPD is characterized by progressive decline in lung function, and encompasses and emphysema. Almost 90% of COPD is caused by long-term cigarette smoking, yet only 25% of chronic will go on to develop COPD.

More information: Adam33 polymorphisms are associated with COPD and lung function in long term tobacco smokers, Alireza Sadeghnejad, Jill A Ohar, Siqun L Zheng, David A Sterling, Gregory A Hawkins, Deborah A Meyers and Eugene R Bleecker, Respiratory Research (in press), respiratory-research.com/

Source: BioMed Central

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Fabric imbued with optical fibers helps fight skin diseases

February 23, 2018
A team of researchers with Texinov Medical Textiles in France has announced that their PHOS-ISTOS system, called the Fluxmedicare, is on track to be made commercially available later this year. The system consists of a piece ...

DNA gets away: Scientists catch the rogue molecule that can trigger autoimmunity

February 22, 2018
A research team has discovered the process - and filmed the actual moment - that can change the body's response to a dying cell. Importantly, what they call the 'Great Escape' moment may one day prove to be the crucial trigger ...

Low-calorie diet enhances intestinal regeneration after injury

February 22, 2018
Dramatic calorie restriction, diets reduced by 40 percent of a normal calorie total, have long been known to extend health span, the duration of disease-free aging, in animal studies, and even to extend life span in most ...

Artificial intelligence quickly and accurately diagnoses eye diseases and pneumonia

February 22, 2018
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, researchers at Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in China, Germany and Texas, ...

Gut microbes protect against sepsis—mouse study

February 22, 2018
Sepsis occurs when the body's response to the spread of bacteria or toxins to the bloodstream damages tissues and organs. The fight against sepsis could get a helping hand from a surprising source: gut bacteria. Researchers ...

Breakthrough could lead to better drugs to tackle diabetes and obesity

February 22, 2018
Breakthrough research at Monash University has shown how different areas of major diabetes and obesity drug targets can be 'activated', guiding future drug development and better treatment of diseases.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.