Associations of a novel IL4RA polymorphism, Ala57Thr, in Greenlander Inuit

Siew Kim Khoo, Guicheng Zhang, Vibeke Backer, Celeste Porsbjerg, Steen Nepper-Christensen, Rhona Creegan, Gareth Baynam, Nicholas de Klerk, Giovanni A. Rossi, Isabel Hagel, Maria C. Di Prisco, Neil Lynch, John Britton, Ian Hall, Arthur W. Musk, Jack Goldblatt, Peter N. Le Souëf, Greenlandic Population Study Group the Greenlandic Population Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A novel IL4RA polymorphism, Ala57Thr, was identified in Greenlander Inuit. Objective: We sought to determine whether the novel Thr57 allele is population specific and to assess the associations of Ala57Thr and Ile50Val with atopy in 2 Inuit populations. Methods: Ala57Thr and Ile50Val were genotyped in 651 Inuit living in Denmark, 1295 Inuit living in Greenland, and 1329 individuals from 7 populations from widely differing global locations. In Inuit the polymorphisms were evaluated for associations with atopy, rhinitis, asthma, and pulmonary function. Results: Thr57 was in linkage disequilibrium with Ile50 (D′ = 1, r 2 = 0.13) and was common (33%) in the Inuit but rare (linear = .003 and P = .034, respectively), with similar trends observed for atopic rhinitis and atopic asthma. In Inuit living in Greenland, Thr57 was not associated with atopy or atopic diseases, but Ile50 was weakly associated with lower risk of atopy. Conclusion: The novel IL4RA Ala57Thr was common in and population specific to Greenlander Inuit, with Thr57 associated with a lower risk of atopy in those living in Denmark. Hence a full investigation of genotype-phenotype relationships in a given population can only be achieved if each gene is screened for novel polymorphisms in that population. Clinical implications: Clinical risk attributable to variations in a gene in an ethnic group requires that all variations of the gene are known for that group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-634
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • asthma
  • atopy
  • IL4RA polymorphism
  • Inuit
  • rhinitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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