In silico pharmacogenetics of warfarin metabolism

Nat Biotechnol. 2006 May;24(5):531-6. doi: 10.1038/nbt1195.


Pharmacogenetic approaches can be instrumental for predicting individual differences in response to a therapeutic intervention. Here we used a recently developed murine haplotype-based computational method to identify a genetic factor regulating the metabolism of warfarin, a commonly prescribed anticoagulant with a narrow therapeutic index and a large variation in individual dosing. After quantification of warfarin and nine of its metabolites in plasma from 13 inbred mouse strains, we correlated strain-specific differences in 7-hydroxywarfarin accumulation with genetic variation within a chromosomal region encoding cytochrome P450 2C (Cyp2c) enzymes. This computational prediction was experimentally confirmed by showing that the rate-limiting step in biotransformation of warfarin to its 7-hydroxylated metabolite was inhibited by tolbutamide, a Cyp2c isoform-specific substrate, and that this transformation was mediated by expressed recombinant Cyp2c29. We show that genetic variants responsible for interindividual pharmacokinetic differences in drug metabolism can be identified by computational genetic analysis in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haplotypes
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Pharmacogenetics / methods*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Species Specificity
  • Warfarin / metabolism
  • Warfarin / pharmacology*


  • Protein Isoforms
  • cytochrome P-450 CYP2C subfamily
  • Warfarin
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System