Several reports have shown that statin treatment benefits patients with asthma; however, inconsistent effects have been observed. The mir-152 family (148a, 148b and 152) has been implicated in asthma. These microRNAs suppress HLA-G expression, and rs1063320, a common SNP in the HLA-G 3'UTR that is associated with asthma risk, modulates miRNA binding. We report that statins upregulate mir-148b and 152, and affect HLA-G expression in an rs1063320-dependent fashion. In addition, we found that individuals who carried the G minor allele of rs1063320 had reduced asthma-related exacerbations (emergency department visits, hospitalizations or oral steroid use) compared with non-carriers (P=0.03) in statin users ascertained in the Personalized Medicine Research Project at the Marshfield Clinic (n=421). These findings support the hypothesis that rs1063320 modifies the effect of statin benefit in asthma, and thus may contribute to variation in statin efficacy for the management of this disease.
A polymorphism in HLA-G modifies statin benefit in asthma.