Tacrolimus dosing in pediatric heart transplant patients is related to CYP3A5 and MDR1 gene polymorphisms

Am J Transplant. 2003 Apr;3(4):477-83. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-6143.2003.00077.x.


Tacrolimus is a substrate for P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and cytochrome (CYP) P4503A. P-gp is encoded by the multiple drug resistance gene MDR1 and CYP3A is the major enzyme responsible for tacrolimus metabolism. Both MDR1 and CYP3A5 genes have multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the MDR1 exon21 and exon26 polymorphisms and the CYP3A5 polymorphism are associated with tacrolimus disposition in pediatric heart transplant patients. At 3, 6 and 12 months post transplantation, a significant difference in tacrolimus blood level per dose/kg/day was found between the CYP3A5 *1/*3 (CYP3A5 expressor) vs. *3/*3 (nonexpressor) genotypes with the *1/*3 patients requiring a larger tacrolimus dose to maintain the same blood concentration. There were no significant differences in tacrolimus blood level per dose/kg/day between MDR1 exon21 G2677T and exon 26 C3435T at 3 months, but both were found to have a significant association with tacrolimus blood level per dose/kg/day at 6 and 12 months. We conclude that specific genotypes of MDR1 and CYP3A5 in pediatric heart transplant patients require larger tacrolimus doses to maintain their tacrolimus blood concentration, and that this information could be used prospectively to manage patient's immunosuppressive therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • DNA Primers
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • DNA Primers
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • CYP3A protein, human
  • CYP3A5 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Tacrolimus