oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - GSTM1, GSTP1 and NQO1 polymorphisms and susceptibility to asthma among South African children : original research

Volume 27, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



Gluthathione-S-transferase (GSTM1 and GSTP1) and nicotinamide quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1) genes play an important role in cellular protection against oxidative stress, which has been linked to asthma pathogenesis. We investigated whether common, functional polymorphisms in GSTM1, GSTP1, and NQO1 influence susceptibility to asthma among schoolchildren in South Africa. Genomic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was extracted from 317 primary schoolchildren, aged 9-11 years, from the urban, underprivileged socio-economic communities of Durban. GSTM1 (null vs. present genotype), GSTP1 (Ile105Val; AA →AG+GG) and the NQO1 (Pro/Ser; CC →CT/TT) genotypes were determined using polymerase chain reaction. Among the children, 30% were GSTM1 null, 65% carried the G allele for GSTP1, and 36% carried the C allele for NQO1. There was a high prevalence of asthma of any severity (46.1%), with 20.4% reporting persistent asthma. The GSTP1 AG+GG polymorphic genotype was significantly associated with persistent asthma (adjusted OR = 3.98; CI = 1.39, 11.36, p-value = 0.01). Neither the GSTM1, nor the NQO1, genotype was a significant predictor of persistent asthma. Therefore, the GSTP1 A/G variant may modulate the risk of persistent asthma among our sample.

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