The genetics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Alice M Wood1 and Robert A Stockley2
1Department of Medical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
2Lung Investigation Unit, University Hospitals Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TH, UK
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous disease caused by the interaction of genetic susceptibility and environmental influences. There is increasing evidence that genes link to disease pathogenesis and heterogeneity by causing variation in protease anti-protease systems, defence against oxidative stress and inflammation. The main methods of genomic research for complex disease traits are described, together with the genes implicated in COPD thus far, their roles in disease causation and the future for this area of investigation.
Respiratory Research 2006, 7:130. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.