Asthma, a chronic airway disease with known heritability, affects more than 300 million people around the world. A genome-wide association (GWA) study of asthma with 359 cases from the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) and 846 genetically matched controls from the Illumina ICONdb public resource was performed. The strongest region of association seen was on chromosome 5q12 in PDE4D. The phosphodiesterase 4D, cAMP-specific (phosphodiesterase E3 dunce homolog, Drosophila) gene (PDE4D) is a regulator of airway smooth-muscle contractility, and PDE4 inhibitors have been developed as medications for asthma. Allelic p values for top SNPs in this region were 4.3 x 10(-07) for rs1588265 and 9.7 x 10(-07) for rs1544791. Replications were investigated in ten independent populations with different ethnicities, study designs, and definitions of asthma. In seven white and Hispanic replication populations, two PDE4D SNPs had significant results with p values less than 0.05, and five had results in the same direction as the original population but had p values greater than 0.05. Combined p values for 18,891 white and Hispanic individuals (4,342 cases) in our replication populations were 4.1 x 10(-04) for rs1588265 and 9.2 x 10(-04) for rs1544791. In three black replication populations, which had different linkage disequilibrium patterns than the other populations, original findings were not replicated. Further study of PDE4D variants might lead to improved understanding of the role of PDE4D in asthma pathophysiology and the efficacy of PDE4 inhibitor medications.
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