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Open Access Research article

Association of toll-interacting protein gene polymorphisms with atopic dermatitis

Tobias T Schimming1, Qumar Parwez2, Elisabeth Petrasch-Parwez3, Michael Nothnagel4, Joerg T Epplen1 and Sabine Hoffjan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Human Genetics, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany

2 Private medical practice, Gladbeck, Germany

3 Department of Neuroanatomy and Molecular Brain Research, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany

4 Institute for Medical Informatics and Statistics (IMIS), University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany

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BMC Dermatology 2007, 7:3  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-7-3

Published: 16 March 2007

Abstract

Background

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common inflammatory skin disorder, affecting up to 15% of children in industrialized countries. Toll-interacting protein (TOLLIP) is an inhibitory adaptor protein within the toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway, a part of the innate immune system that recognizes structurally conserved molecular patterns of microbial pathogens, leading to an inflammatory immune response.

Methods

In order to detect a possible role of TOLLIP variation in the pathogenesis of AD, we screened the entire coding sequence of the TOLLIP gene by SSCP in 50 AD patients. We identified an amino acid exchange in exon 6 (Ala222Ser) and a synonymous variation in exon 4 (Pro139Pro). Subsequently, these two variations and four additional non-coding polymorphisms (-526 C/G, two polymorphisms in intron 1 and one in the 3'UTR) were genotyped in 317 AD patients and 224 healthy controls.

Results

The -526G allele showed borderline association with AD in our cohort (p = 0.012; significance level after correction for multiple testing 0.0102). Haplotype analysis did not yield additional information. Evaluation of mRNA expression by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in six probands with the CC and six with the GG genotype at the -526 C/G locus did not reveal significant differences between genotypes.

Conclusion

Variation in the TOLLIP gene may play a role in the pathogenesis of AD. Yet, replication studies in other cohorts and populations are warranted to confirm these association results.