An international research team, including the Trans-National Asthma Genetics Consortium (TAGC), has discovered five new genomic regions that increase the risk of asthma.
“We examined common variation in asthma risk by conducting a meta-analysis of worldwide asthma genome-wide association studies…of individuals from ethnically diverse populations. We identified five new asthma loci, found two new associations at two known asthma loci, established asthma associations at two loci previously implicated in the comorbidity of asthma plus hay fever, and confirmed nine known loci.
Investigation of pleiotropy showed large overlaps in genetic variants with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The enrichment in enhancer marks at asthma risk loci, especially in immune cells, suggested a major role of these loci in the regulation of immunologically related mechanisms,” write the investigators.