Allele and genotype frequencies of CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 in an Italian population

Pharmacol Res. 2004 Aug;50(2):195-200. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2004.01.004.


The polymorphic cytochrome P450 isoenzymes (CYPs) 2C9, 2C19 and 2D6 metabolise many important drugs, as well as other xenobiotics. Their polymorphism gives rise to important interindividual and interethnic variability in the metabolism and disposition of several therapeutic agents and may cause differences in the clinical response to these drugs. In this study, we determined the genotype profile of a random Italian population in order to compare the CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 allele frequencies among Italians with previous findings in other Caucasian populations. Frequencies for the major CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 mutated alleles and genotypes have been evaluated in 360 unrelated healthy Italian volunteers (210 males and 150 females, aged 19-52 years). Genotyping has been carried out on peripheral leukocytes DNA by molecular biology techniques (PCR, RFLP, long-PCR). CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 allele and genotype frequencies resulted in equilibrium with the Hardy-Weinberg equation. One hundred and fourteen subjects (31.7%) carried one and 23 subjects (6.4%) carried two CYP2C9 mutated alleles. Sixty-eight (18.9%) volunteers were found to be heterozygous and six (1.7%) homozygous for the CYP2C19*2, while no CYP2C19*3 was detected in the evaluated population. Volunteers could be divided into four CYP2D6 genotypes groups: 192 subjects (53.3%) with no mutated alleles (homozygous extensive metabolisers, EM), 126 (35.0%) with one mutated allele (heterozygous EM), 12 (3.4%) with two mutated alleles (poor metabolisers, PM) and 30 (8.3%) with extracopies of a functional gene (ultrarapid metabolisers, UM). Frequencies of both CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 allelic variants, as well as CYP2D6 detrimental alleles, in Italian subjects were similar to those of other Caucasian populations. Conversely, the prevalence of CYP2D6 gene duplication among Italians resulted very high, confirming the higher frequency of CYP2D6 UM in the Mediterranean area compared to Northern Europe.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles*
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / genetics*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6 / genetics*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Gene Frequency / genetics*
  • Genetics, Population / methods*
  • Humans
  • Italy / ethnology
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Pharmacogenetics / methods
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / drug effects
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / physiology


  • DNA
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • CYP2C9 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • CYP2C19 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6