Polymorphisms in TGFbeta and TNFalpha are associated with the myelodysplastic syndrome phenotype.
CONTEXT: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) are characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis, excessive apoptosis, and the aberrant expression of a number of cytokines. The genes encoding these cytokines are significantly polymorphic. It is unknown whether these cytokine polymorphisms are associated with, and may therefore be playing a role in the pathogenesis of, MDS. OBJECTIVE: To determine if certain polymorphisms in the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) cytokines are overrepresented in a cohort of patients with MDSs. DESIGN: DNA was isolated from the peripheral blood or bone marrow aspirate of 21 patients with MDS. The genotypes for 4 different polymorphisms, 2 in TNFalpha and 2 in TGFbeta1, were determined using single-specific-primer polymerase chain reaction. The allele and genotype frequencies were compared with similar populations in the National Cancer Institute SNP500 database. RESULTS: In our MDS population, the -308A/A genotype of the TNFalpha gene and the TGFbeta1 allele +29T and genotype +29T/T, each associated with higher levels of expression, were overrepresented in our MDS population. CONCLUSIONS: Polymorphisms associated with increased expression in the cytokines TNFalpha and TGFbeta1 are overrepresented in the MDS population suggesting that increased TNF-alpha and TGF-beta1 activity may contribute to the susceptibility and/or pathogenesis of MDS. Further studies with larger sample sizes are warranted to confirm our observation.