At last-linking ORMDL3 polymorphisms, decreased sphingolipid synthesis, and asthma susceptibility

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Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease that has a heritable component. Polymorphisms in the endoplasmic reticular protein orosomucoid-like protein 3 (ORMDL3), which regulates sphingolipid homeostasis, have been strongly linked with childhood-onset asthma. Despite extensive investigation, a link between ORMDL3 asthma-risk genotypes and altered sphingolipid synthesis has been lacking. In this issue of the JCI, Ono et al. establish a clear association between nonallergic childhood asthma, lower whole-blood sphingolipids, and asthma-risk 17q21 genotypes. These results demonstrate that genetic variants in ORMDL3 may confer a risk of developing childhood asthma through dysregulation of sphingolipid synthesis. As such, modulation of sphingolipids may represent a promising avenue of therapeutic development for childhood asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-607
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 3 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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