Background: Variation in response to the most commonly used class of asthma controller medication, inhaled corticosteroids, presents a serious challenge in asthma management, particularly for steroid-resistant patients with little or no response to treatment.
Objective: We applied a systems biology approach to primary clinical and genomic data to identify and validate genes that modulate steroid response in asthmatic children.
Methods: We selected 104 inhaled corticosteroid-treated asthmatic non-Hispanic white children and determined a steroid responsiveness endophenotype (SRE) using observations of 6 clinical measures over 4 years. We modeled each subject's cellular steroid response using data from a previously published study of immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines under dexamethasone (DEX) and sham treatment. We integrated SRE with immortalized lymphoblastoid cell line DEX responses and genotypes to build a genome-scale network using the Reverse Engineering, Forward Simulation modeling framework, identifying 7 genes modulating SRE.
Results: Three of these genes were functionally validated by using a stable nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells luciferase reporter in A549 human lung epithelial cells, IL-1β cytokine stimulation, and DEX treatment. By using small interfering RNA transfection, knockdown of family with sequence similarity 129 member A (FAM129A) produced a reduction in steroid treatment response (P < .001).
Conclusion: With this systems-based approach, we have shown that FAM129A is associated with variation in clinical asthma steroid responsiveness and that FAM129A modulates steroid responsiveness in lung epithelial cells.
Keywords: FAM129A; Inhaled corticosteroids; Reverse Engineering, Forward Simulation modeling; genomics; steroid response endophenotype; systems biology.
Copyright © 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.