Gene expression profiling of peripheral blood leukocytes identifies potential novel biomarkers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in current and former smokers

Biomarkers. 2010 Dec;15(8):715-30. doi: 10.3109/1354750X.2010.512091. Epub 2010 Oct 1.


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease with associated systemic effects.

Objective: To use gene expression microarrays in peripheral blood leukocytes of current and former cigarette smokers to identify differences associated with COPD.

Materials and methods: Random forest modelling and a split-sample case-control approach were used to identify candidate predictors.

Results: We identified 1013 genes and one smoking exposure variable that differentiated current and former smokers with or without COPD. This predictor set was reduced to a nine-gene classifier (IL6R, CCR2, PPP2CB, RASSF2, WTAP, DNTTIP2, GDAP1, LIPE and RPL14).

Conclusion: These gene expression profiles represent potential biomarkers for COPD and may help increase mechanistic understanding of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / blood*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Smoking / blood*


  • Biomarkers