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Nitric oxide (NO) gas concentrations are higher in expired air in asthmatics. NO is synthesized by three isoforms of NO synthase (NOS) encoded by three distinct genes, NOS1, NOS2, and NOS3. Genome-wide searches have identified linkages to asthma on chromosomes 7, 12, and 17 where these three genes are localized. No association study, however, has been reported to date. To test whether variants of NOS1, NOS2, and NOS3 relate to asthma, a genetic association study was conducted in a British population (n = 300). Intragenic microsatellite variants of NOS1 were significantly associated with asthma [odds ratio (OR) = 2.08, 95% CI: 1.20-3.57 (95% CI), P = 0.008 (Pc = 0.048)], but not with IgE levels. Neither NOS2 nor NOS3 variants showed any association with asthma nor IgE levels. These findings suggest that NOS1 variants may be a significant contributor to asthma in a British population.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem Biophys Res Commun

Publication Date





761 - 763


Alleles, Asthma, Chromosome Mapping, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 12, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 17, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 7, Genetic Variation, Humans, Immunoglobulin E, Introns, Microsatellite Repeats, Minisatellite Repeats, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Reference Values, United Kingdom