Surfactant protein-D (SP-D) is expressed on mucosal surfaces and functions in the innate immune response to microorganisms. We studied the genetic association of the two nonsynonymous SP-D single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs721917 and rs2243639 in 256 inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) cases (123 CD and 133 UC) and 376 unrelated healthy individuals from an IBD population from Central Pennsylvania. Case-control analysis revealed a significant association of rs2243639 with susceptibility to Crohn's disease (CD) (p= 0.0036), but not ulcerative colitis (UC) (p= 0.883), and no association of rs721917 with CD (p= 0.328) or UC (p= 0.218). Using intestinal tissues from 19 individuals heterozygous for each SNP, we compared allelic expression of these two SNPs between diseased and matched normal tissues. rs2243639 exhibited balanced biallelic (BB) expression; while rs721917 exhibited differential allelic expression (BB 37%, imbalanced biallelic [IB] 45%, and dominant monoallelic [DM] 18%). Comparison of allelic expression pattern between diseased and matched normal tissues, 13 of 19 individuals (14 UC, 5 CD) showed a similar pattern. The six patients exhibiting a different pattern were all UC patients. The results suggest that differential allelic expression may affect penetrance of the SNP rs721917 disease-susceptibility allele in IBD. The potential impact of SP-D monoallelic expression on incomplete penetrance is discussed.
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