The effect of genetic polymorphisms in CYP2C9 on sulphamethoxazole N-hydroxylation

Pharmacogenetics. 1999 Feb;9(1):43-53. doi: 10.1097/00008571-199902000-00007.


Sulphamethoxazole undergoes CYP2C9-mediated bioactivation to a hydroxylamine. In this study, we investigated the effect of the CYP2C9Arg144 to Cys (CYP2C9*2) and CYP2C9Ile359 to Leu (CYP2C9*3) polymorphisms on sulphamethoxazole N-hydroxylation. Human livers were genotyped using polymerase chain reaction amplification and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Formation of sulphamethoxazole hydroxylamine and methylhydroxy tolbutamide in microsomes prepared from cell lines and the genotyped human livers was determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Microsomes prepared from the cell line expressing the allelic variants CYP2C9-Cys144 and CYP2C9-Leu359 displayed a threefold and 20-fold decrease in intrinsic clearance (Cl(int)) for sulphamethoxazole, respectively, when compared with the wild-type, CYP2C9-Arg144. A significant decrease (P < 0.05) in Cl(int) was also observed with tolbutamide for both mutations. Of the 26 human livers genotyped, 61.5% were homozygous wild-type, 26.9% were heterozygotes for CYP2C9*2 and 15.4% were heterozygotes for CYP2C9*3. No homozygous mutant livers were detected. There was a good correlation between sulphamethoxazole N-hydroxylation and tolbutamide methyl hydroxylation (r = 0.825). However, there was no difference in the kinetic parameters for either sulphamethoxazole N-hydroxylation or tolbutamide methyl hydroxylation between the wild type livers (n = 6) and either the livers heterozygous for the CYP2C9*2 (n = 5) or the livers heterozygous for the CYP2C9*3 mutation (n = 3). The CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 polymorphisms may have some influence on the bioactivation of sulphamethoxazole, particularly in individuals who are homozygous mutants, and this could act as a protective factor against sulphamethoxazole hypersensitivity. However, given the rarity of homozygous mutants, it is likely that other metabolic and immunological risk factors will dominate individual susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • DNA Primers
  • Humans
  • Hydroxylation
  • Kinetics
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase*
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / genetics*
  • Sulfamethoxazole / metabolism*
  • Tolbutamide / metabolism


  • DNA Primers
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Tolbutamide
  • Steroid Hydroxylases
  • CYP2C9 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Sulfamethoxazole