Flavin-containing monooxygenase genetic polymorphism: impact on chemical metabolism and drug development

Pharmacogenomics. 2005 Dec;6(8):807-22. doi: 10.2217/14622416.6.8.807.


The flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs) metabolize a broad range of therapeutics. Consisting of five gene products in humans (FMO1-5), the different FMO family members exhibit pronounced tissue- and temporal-specific expression patterns. Substantial interindividual differences are also observed, and the inability to modulate with exogenous agents is consistent with an important role for genetic variation. Several rare FMO3 alleles causative for trimethylaminuria have been well characterized. However, the identification and characterization of functional FMO1-5 polymorphisms has been more recent. Although none of these polymorphisms has been associated with an adverse drug reaction, the continued broadening of our therapeutic armamentarium makes such an event likely in the future. Furthermore, at least one example has been reported for a direct association between FMO3 polymorphism and therapeutic efficacy. Thus, it is anticipated that knowledge regarding functionally-relevant FMO genetic variability will become increasingly important for making drug development and patient therapeutic choices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Design
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Monoamine Oxidase / genetics*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacology / trends*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Monoamine Oxidase