The RANTES promoter polymorphism: a genetic risk factor for near-fatal asthma in Chinese children

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Jun;111(6):1285-92. doi: 10.1067/mai.2003.1506.


Background: RANTES promoter polymorphisms were found associated with asthma/atopy in some studies but not others, possibly reflecting the genetic heterogeneity among different ethnicities and different asthma severity.

Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to test the genetic association between the RANTES -28C/G and -403G/A polymorphisms and asthma/atopy in a cohort of Chinese children, with particular emphasis on those patients who had experienced life-threatening asthma attacks.

Methods: Forty-eight children with near-fatal asthma, 134 children with mild-to-moderate asthma, 69 children with allergic disorders but no asthma, and 107 nonasthmatic nonatopic control children were genotyped through use of a PCR-based assay.

Results: No significant difference was demonstrated for frequency of the RANTES -28C/G polymorphism when the mild-to-moderate asthma, atopic/nonasthmatic, and normal control groups were compared. The RANTES -28G allele was present in a significantly higher proportion of the children with near-fatal asthma compared with the nonasthmatic nonatopic controls (odds ratio, 2.93 [1.41-6.06]; P =.006) and the children with mild-to-moderate asthma (odds ratio, 3.52 [1.73-7.16]; P =.001). The frequency of -28G allele carriage correlated with asthma severity. The RANTES -28G allele was also associated with an increased blood eosinophil count and a higher degree of bronchial hyperresponsiveness. The RANTES -403G/A polymorphism did not influence asthma/atopy susceptibility, blood eosinophil count, or bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Interestingly, a higher frequency of -403A allele carriage was observed in the moderate asthma subgroup compared with the mild asthma analog.

Conclusions: We conclude that the RANTES -28C/G polymorphism exacerbates asthma severity, representing a genetic risk factor for life-threatening asthma attacks in Chinese children. In addition, the linkage disequilibrium between these 2 polymorphisms is a potential confounder that must be considered in the design and interpretation of RANTES gene association studies.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / genetics*
  • Asthma / mortality
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / genetics
  • Chemokine CCL5 / genetics*
  • Child
  • China
  • Eosinophilia / genetics
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*


  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Immunoglobulin E