CYP3A4 allelic variants with amino acid substitutions in exons 7 and 12: evidence for an allelic variant with altered catalytic activity

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Jan;67(1):48-56. doi: 10.1067/mcp.2000.104391.


Objective: To determine the existence of mutant and variant CgammaP3A4 alleles in three racial groups and to assess functions of the variant alleles by complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) expression.

Methods: A bacterial artificial chromosome that contains the complete CgammaP3A4 gene was isolated and the exons and surrounding introns were directly sequenced to develop primers to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplify and sequence the gene from lymphocyte DNA. DNA samples from Chinese, black, and white subjects were screened. Mutating the affected amino acid in the wild-type cDNA and expressing the variant enzyme with use of the baculovirus system was used to functionally evaluate the variant allele having a missense mutation.

Results: To investigate the existence of mutant and variant CgammaP3A4 alleles in humans, all 13 exons and the 5'-flanking region of the human CgammaP3A4 gene in three racial groups were sequenced and four alleles were identified. An A-->G point mutation in the 5'-flanking region of the human CgammaP3A4 gene, designated CgammaP3A4*1B, was found in the three different racial groups. The frequency of this allele in a white population was 4.2%, whereas it was 66.7% in black subjects. The CgammaP3A4*1B allele was not found in Chinese subjects. A second variant allele, designated CgammaP3A4*2, having a Ser222Pro change, was found at a frequency of 2.7% in the white population and was absent in the black subjects and Chinese subjects analyzed. Baculovirus-directed cDNA expression revealed that the CYP3A4*2 P450 had a lower intrinsic clearance for the CYP3A4 substrate nifedipine compared with the wild-type enzyme but was not significantly different from the wild-type enzyme for testosterone 6beta-hydroxylation. Another rare allele, designated CgammaP3A4*3, was found in a single Chinese subject who had a Met445Thr change in the conserved heme-binding region of the P450.

Conclusions: These are the first examples of potential function polymorphisms resulting from missense mutations in the CgammaP3A4 gene. The CgammaP3A4*2 allele was found to encode a P450 with substrate-dependent altered kinetics compared with the wild-type P450.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Asian People / genetics*
  • Black People / genetics*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Exons*
  • Humans
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Nifedipine / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Testosterone / metabolism
  • White People / genetics*


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Testosterone
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • CYP3A protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • CYP3A4 protein, human
  • Nifedipine