Drug metabolizing enzyme activities versus genetic variances for drug of clinical pharmacogenomic relevance

Clin Proteomics. 2011 Jul 28;8(1):12. doi: 10.1186/1559-0275-8-12.


Enzymes are critically important in the transportation, metabolism, and clearance of most therapeutic drugs used in clinical practice today. Many of these enzymes have significant genetic polymorphisms that affect the enzyme's rate kinetics. Regarding drug metabolism, specific polymorphisms to the cytochrome (CYP) P450 enzyme family are linked to phenotypes that describe reaction rates as "ultra", "intermediate", and "poor," as referenced to "extensive" metabolizers that are assigned to wildtype individuals. Activity scores is an alternate designation that provides more genotype-to-phenotype resolution. Understanding the relative change in enzyme activities or rate of clearance of specific drugs relative to an individual's genotypes is an important component in the interpretation of pharmacogenomic data for personalized medicine. Currently, the most relevant drug metabolizing enzymes are CYP 2D6, CYP 2C9, CYP 2C19, thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT). Each of these enzymes is reactive to a host of different drug substrates. Pharmacogenomic tests that are in routine clinical practice include CYP 2C19 for clopidogrel, TPMT for thiopurine drugs, and UDP-1A1 for irinotecan. Other tests where there is considerable data but have not been widely implemented includes CYP 2C9 for warfarin, CYP 2D6 for tamoxifen and codeine, and CYP 2C19 for the proton pump inhibitors.