Screening for polymorphisms in the PXR gene in a Dutch population

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 May;62(5):395-9. doi: 10.1007/s00228-006-0108-0. Epub 2006 Mar 28.


Objective: Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) is involved in the metabolism of over 50% of all drugs currently in use. However, CYP3A4 expression shows a large inter-individual variation that cannot only be explained by genetic polymorphisms identified in this gene. The pregnane X receptor (PXR) has been identified as a transcriptional regulator of CYP3A4. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the PXR gene could influence PXR activity and thereby CYP3A4 expression. This study was therefore aimed at determining the frequencies of known SNPs and detecting yet unknown SNPs in the PXR gene in a Dutch population.

Methods: Genomic DNA was isolated from blood samples obtained from 100 healthy volunteers and subjected to PCR amplification, followed by DNA sequencing. The population, of which the ethnicity was 93% Caucasian, consisted of 79 female individuals and 21 males.

Results: A total of 24 SNPs were found in the PXR gene, eight of which are previously unknown. The allelic frequencies found in this population varied from 0.5 to 73%. Most of the previously detected SNPs were located in introns. One new SNP, T8555G in exon 8, causes an amino acid change of C379G and is located in the Ligand Binding Domain of PXR.

Conclusion: Several SNPs were detected in the PXR gene, one of which is located in the ligand binding domain (LBD). These SNPs may influence PXR-mediated CYP3A4 induction.

MeSH terms

  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • Introns
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Pregnane X Receptor
  • Receptors, Steroid / genetics*


  • Pregnane X Receptor
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • CYP3A5 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • CYP3A4 protein, human