A common intronic variant of CXCR3 is functionally associated with gene expression levels and the polymorphic immune cell responses to stimuli

Jung Won Choi, Choon Sik Park, Minyoung Hwang, Hye Young Nam, Hun Soo Chang, Seong Gyu Park, Bok Ghee Han, Kuchan Kimm, Hyung Lae Kim, Bermseok Oh, Yeonjung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: CXCR3 is a chemokine receptor that plays important roles in mediating chemotactic signals and modulating the activation of lymphocytes. We have previously conducted a case-control study by using a candidate gene approach to investigate the association of CXCR3 polymorphisms with the risk of asthma. Results from the epidemiologic study showed that a common nucleotide variant in the CXCR3 intron (rs2280964G>A) was associated with disease susceptibility (1006 cases and 384 control subjects; odds ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69-0.94; P = .007). Objective: The aim of our study was to evaluate the epidemiologic study and provide functional evidence for the association of rs2280964G>A with asthma by investigating the effects of intronic variant on chemokine-mediated phenotypes of human-derived T cells. Methods: We used cell line-based in vitro and human primary T cell-based ex vivo studies to examine the functional consequences of the intronic polymorphism, focusing on the regulation of gene expression, splicing, and immune responsiveness toward activating signals. Results: We present functional evidence indicating that the rs2280964A allele significantly correlates with decreased CXCR3 gene expression, which would lead to variation in immune cell responses to chemokine-cytokine signals in vitro and ex vivo that includes a decrease in chemotactic activity. Conclusion: These findings, in conjunction with those of our previous epidemiologic studies, might implicate a functional link between a common nucleotide variant of a chemokine receptor gene, CXCR3, and a cause for a complex-trait disease, asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1126.e7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the National Institute of Health (National Budget Code 347-2910-212-207-00) and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (01-PJ10-PG6-01GN14-0003). M. H. was funded by the Brain Korea 21 fellowship.


  • CXCR3
  • Chemokine receptor
  • asthma
  • case-control association study
  • functional study
  • single nucleotide polymorphism


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