Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) polymorphism of the alpha 1-antitrypsin gene in chronic lung disease.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 13 June 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:1511
  1. N A Kalsheker,
  2. I J Hodgson,
  3. G L Watkins,
  4. J P White,
  5. H M Morrison,
  6. R A Stockley


    Specific gene probes were used to study restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the human alpha 1-antitrypsin gene. A polymorphism due to loss of a recognition site for the restriction enzyme Taq I was identified in eight of 42 patients with bronchiectasis and nine of 49 patients with pulmonary emphysema, none of whom had alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. Among a control group without lung disease the polymorphism was significantly less frequent, being found in only five of 101 apparently healthy blood donors. The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) polymorphism was also present in two of 14 unrelated patients with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, indicating a lack of association with any specific alpha 1-antitrypsin protein phenotype. The polymorphism identified in this study may be a new marker for genetic predisposition to chronic lung disease.