The role of heme oxygenase-1 promoter polymorphisms in human disease

Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Oct 15;37(8):1097-104. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2004.07.008.


Heme oxygenase (HO) seems to be a novel protective factor with potent anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-proliferative effects. HO-1, the inducible isoform, is expressed in various tissues and is upregulated by multiple stimuli. However, humans differ quantitatively in their ability to mount an HO-1 response, modulated by two potentially functional polymorphisms in the HO-1 gene promoter region. From several studies it seems that the ability of a patient with certain genotypes to respond strongly in terms of upregulating HO-1 may be an important endogenous protective factor. In the present article we systematically review the hitherto published evidence that promoter polymorphisms in the HO-1 gene exert functional importance by influencing the level of HO-1 expression in different organ systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Dinucleotide Repeats
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Female
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / enzymology*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Hematologic Diseases / enzymology
  • Hematologic Diseases / genetics
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / genetics*
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Degeneration / enzymology
  • Nerve Degeneration / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / enzymology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / genetics
  • Risk Factors


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Membrane Proteins
  • HMOX1 protein, human
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
  • Heme Oxygenase-1