A genome-wide association study of bronchodilator response in Latinos implicates rare variants

Katherine A. Drake, Dara G. Torgerson*, Christopher R. Gignoux, Joshua M. Galanter, Lindsey A. Roth, Scott Huntsman, Celeste Eng, Sam S. Oh, Sook Wah Yee, Lawrence Lin, Carlos D. Bustamante, Andrés Moreno-Estrada, Karla Sandoval, Adam Davis, Luisa N. Borrell, Harold J. Farber, Rajesh Kumar, Pedro C. Avila, Emerita Brigino-Buenaventura, Rocio ChapelaJean G. Ford, Michael A. Lenoir, Fred Lurmann, Kelley Meade, Denise Serebrisky, Shannon Thyne, William Rodríguez-Cintrón, Saunak Sen, José R. Rodríguez-Santana, Ryan D. Hernandez, Kathleen M. Giacomini, Esteban G. Burchard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Background The primary rescue medication to treat acute asthma exacerbation is the short-acting β2-adrenergic receptor agonist; however, there is variation in how well a patient responds to treatment. Although these differences might be due to environmental factors, there is mounting evidence for a genetic contribution to variability in bronchodilator response (BDR). Objective To identify genetic variation associated with bronchodilator drug response in Latino children with asthma. Methods We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for BDR in 1782 Latino children with asthma using standard linear regression, adjusting for genetic ancestry and ethnicity, and performed replication studies in an additional 531 Latinos. We also performed admixture mapping across the genome by testing for an association between local European, African, and Native American ancestry and BDR, adjusting for genomic ancestry and ethnicity. Results We identified 7 genetic variants associated with BDR at a genome-wide significant threshold (P < 5 × 10-8), all of which had frequencies of less than 5%. Furthermore, we observed an excess of small P values driven by rare variants (frequency, <5%) and by variants in the proximity of solute carrier (SLC) genes. Admixture mapping identified 5 significant peaks; fine mapping within these peaks identified 2 rare variants in SLC22A15 as being associated with increased BDR in Mexicans. Quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry identified SLC22A15 as being expressed in the lung and bronchial epithelial cells. Conclusion Our results suggest that rare variation contributes to individual differences in response to albuterol in Latinos, notably in SLC genes that include membrane transport proteins involved in the transport of endogenous metabolites and xenobiotics. Resequencing in larger, multiethnic population samples and additional functional studies are required to further understand the role of rare variation in BDR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-378.e15
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Bronchodilator response
  • Latinos
  • admixture mapping
  • asthma
  • genome-wide association study
  • rare variants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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