IL-17F sequence variant (His161Arg) is associated with protection against asthma and antagonizes wild-type IL-17F activity

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Apr;117(4):795-801. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2005.12.1346. Epub 2006 Feb 14.


Background: IL-17F is a recently discovered cytokine that plays a role in tissue inflammation by inducing release of proinflammatory and neutrophil-mobilizing cytokines. Upregulated IL17F gene expression has been observed at sites of allergen challenge in the airways of patients with asthma, suggesting that IL-17F is involved in the pathophysiology of asthma.

Objective: To investigate the role of IL-17F in asthma pathogenesis, we conducted genetic analyses of association of asthma with the common variants of IL17F, using 867 unrelated Japanese subjects.

Methods: Five polymorphisms were studied, including the coding-region sequence variant single nucleotide polymorphism rs763780 (7488T/C), which causes a His-to-Arg substitution at amino acid 161 (H161R). Functional consequences of the H161R substitution were examined by using recombinant wild-type and mutant IL-17F proteins.

Results: Homozygosity of the H161R variant was inversely associated with asthma; the odds ratio (95% CI) for asthma was 0.06 (0.01-0.43) for the H161R homozygote compared with the wild-type homozygote (P = .0039). This result remains significant (P = .0079) after adjustment for the presence of atopy using the Mantel-Haenszel chi2 test. In addition, in vitro functional experiments demonstrated that the H161R variant of IL-17F lacks the ability to activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, cytokine production, and chemokine production in bronchial epithelial cells, unlike wild-type IL-17F. Furthermore, the H161R variant blocked induction of IL-8 expression by wild-type IL-17F.

Conclusion: The current findings indicate that the IL-17F H161R variant influences the risk of asthma and is a natural IL-17F antagonist, suggesting a potential role for IL-17F in the etiology of asthma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / genetics*
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haplotypes
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-17 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-17 / physiology*
  • Japan
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • IL17F protein, human
  • Interleukin-17
  • Recombinant Proteins