A genetic contribution to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is well established. However, the specific genes responsible for enhanced risk or host differences in susceptibility to smoke exposure remain poorly understood. The goal of this review is to provide a comprehensive literature overview on the genetics of COPD, highlight the most promising findings during the last few years, and ultimately provide an updated COPD gene list. Candidate gene studies on COPD and related phenotypes indexed in PubMed before January 5, 2012 are tabulated. An exhaustive list of publications for any given gene was looked for. This well-documented COPD candidate-gene list is expected to serve many purposes for future replication studies and meta-analyses as well as for reanalyzing collected genomic data in the field. In addition, this review summarizes recent genetic loci identified by genome-wide association studies on COPD, lung function, and related complications. Assembling resources, integrative genomic approaches, and large sample sizes of well-phenotyped subjects is part of the path forward to elucidate the genetic basis of this debilitating disease.
Keywords: COPD; candidate genes; genetics; genome-wide association study; lung function.