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Free Content Polymorphisms of glutathione S-transferase genes and functional activity in smokers with or without COPD

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the role of polymorphisms of genes regulating glutathione S-transferase (GST) and its plasma GST activity in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

DESIGN: Case-control study.

METHODS: One hundred and sixty-three patients with stable COPD from several community or regional hospitals were matched for age and pack-years smoked with the same number of health controls from the general population. Each participant underwent an interview-based respiratory and smoking questionnaire, lung function testing and gave a blood sample. Genotyping was carried out using a polymerase chain reaction-based method for polymorphisms of glutathione S-transferase theta 1 (GSTT1), glutathione S-transferase mu 1 (GSTM1) and glutathione S-transferase P 1 (GSTP1) genes. Plasma GST activity was measured using the spectrofluorometric method.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the distribution of various genotypes of polymorphisms of GSTT1, GSTM1 and GSTP1 between COPD patients and healthy controls. GST activity was significantly higher in patients compared with controls, irrespective of their different genotypes, and was not different between patients with different levels of airflow obstruction.

CONCLUSION: Polymorphisms of GSTT1, GSTM1 and GSTP1 genes are unlikely to be involved in the pathogenesis of COPD in Chinese in Hong Kong and Southern China.
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Keywords: activity; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetic polymorphism; glutathione S-transferase

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Respiratory Division, Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China 2: Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China 3: The Grantham Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China 4: Haven of Hope Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China 5: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong SAR, China

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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