Identification and functional characterization of eight CYP3A4 protein variants

Pharmacogenetics. 2001 Jul;11(5):447-58. doi: 10.1097/00008571-200107000-00008.


The genetic component of the inter-individual variability in CYP3A4 activity has been estimated to be between 60% and 90%, but the underlying genetic factors remain largely unknown. A study of 213 Middle and Western European DNA samples resulted in the identification of 18 new CYP3A4 variants, including eight protein variants. A total of 7.5% of the population studied was found to be heterozygous for one of these variants. In a bacterial heterologous expression system, two mutants, R130Q and P416L, did not result in detectable P450 holoprotein. One mutant, T363M, expressed at significantly lower levels than wild-type CYP3A4. G56D, V170I, D174H and M445T were not significantly different when compared with wild-type CYP3A4 in expression or steroid hydroxylase activity. L373F displayed a significantly altered testosterone metabolite profile and a four-fold increase in the Km value for 1'-OH midazolam formation. The results suggest a limited contribution of CYP3A4 protein variants to the inter-individual variability of CYP3A4 activity in Caucasians. Some variants may, however, play a role in the atypical response to drugs or altered sensitivity to carcinogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • DNA Primers
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA Primers
  • Isoenzymes
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • CYP3A protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • CYP3A4 protein, human