RATIONALE: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), characterized by airflow limitation, is a disorder with high phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Pulmonary emphysema is a major but variable component of COPD; familial data suggest that different components of COPD, such as emphysema, may be influenced by specific genetic factors. OBJECTIVES: to identify genetic determinants of emphysema assessed through high-resolution chest computed tomography in individuals with COPD. METHODS: we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of emphysema determined from chest computed tomography scans with a total of 2,380 individuals with COPD in three independent cohorts of white individuals from (1) a cohort from Bergen, Norway, (2) the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints (ECLIPSE) Study, and (3) the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT). We tested single-nucleotide polymorphism associations with the presence or absence of emphysema determined by radiologist assessment in two of the three cohorts and a quantitative emphysema trait (percentage of lung voxels less than -950 Hounsfield units) in all three cohorts. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: we identified association of a single-nucleotide polymorphism in BICD1 with the presence or absence of emphysema (P = 5.2 x 10(-7) with at least mild emphysema vs. control subjects; P = 4.8 x 10(-8) with moderate and more severe emphysema vs. control subjects). CONCLUSIONS: our study suggests that genetic variants in BICD1 are associated with qualitative emphysema in COPD. Variants in BICD1 are associated with length of telomeres, which suggests that a mechanism linked to accelerated aging may be involved in the pathogenesis of emphysema. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00292552).
Kong, X., Cho, M. H., Anderson, W., Coxson, H. O., Muller, N., Washko, G., Hoffman, E. A., Bakke, P., Gulsvik, A., Lomas, D. A., Silverman, E. K., Pillai, S. G., & ECLIPSE Investigators, . E. W.
(2011). Genome-wide Association Study Identifies BICD1 as a Susceptibility Gene for Emphysema
. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
(1), 43-49. https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201004-0541OC