Current Drug Targets

Francis J. Castellino
Kleiderer-Pezold Professor of Biochemistry
Director, W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research
Dean Emeritus, College of Science
230 Raclin-Carmichael Hall, University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556


Ethnic Differences in Pharmacogenetically Relevant Genes

Author(s): R. M. Engen, S. Marsh, D. J. Van Booven and H. L. McLeod

Affiliation: UNC Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Campus Box 7360, 3203 Kerr Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7360,USA.


There is great heterogeneity in the way humans respond to medications, often requiring empirical strategies to define the appropriate drug therapy for each patient. Genetic polymorphisms in drug metabolizing enzymes, transporters, receptors, and other drug targets provide putative markers for predicting which patients will experience extreme toxicity and treatment failure. Both quantitative (allele frequency) and qualitative (specific allele) differences for polymorphic genes have been observed between different population groups. For example, the frequency of mutations in thiopurine methyltransferase is lower in Chinese than Caucasian populations. In addition, the predominant mutation responsible for deficient enzyme activity differs between the two populations (TPMT*3C versus TPMT*3A). Understanding the influence of ethnicity on pharmacogenomics will allow for comprehensive strategies for using the genome to optimize therapy for patients throughout the world.

Keywords: Pharmacogenetics, Pharmacogenomics, Ethnicity, TPMT, ABCB1, TYMS, VKORC1

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Article Details

Page: [1641 - 1648]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/138945006779025446