Interethnic differences in UGT1A4 genetic polymorphisms between Mexican Mestizo and Spanish populations

Mol Biol Rep. 2013 Apr;40(4):3187-92. doi: 10.1007/s11033-012-2393-2. Epub 2013 Jan 1.


UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A4 (UGT1A4) is a phase II drug-metabolizing enzyme that catalyzes the glucuronidation of many clinically-important drugs. Interethnic differences in the genetic polymorphism of UGT1A4 have been reported; however, there is no information in Mexican Mestizos (MMs) and Spaniards (SPs). Furthermore, MM is an admixed population with 26 % of Caucasian genes mainly from Spain. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the potential differences between 318 SPs and 248 MMs healthy individuals regarding UGT1A4*1b, UGT1A4*2 and UGT1A4*3 alleles and to compare the observed frequencies with those previously reported in different populations. The allelic frequencies of the three UGT1A4 polymorphisms showed interethnic differences between MMs and SPs (p < 0.05). The analyzed SNPs variants in this genetic region were not in linkage disequilibrium (LD) for the MM population, suggesting that these mutations have arisen independently in the same genetic background. In contrast, UGT1A4*2 and UGT1A4*3 were in LD in the SP population. Comparison of present data with other in different ethnic groups revealed that the frequencies of UGT1A4*2 and UGT1A4*3 in SP were similar to other Caucasians and higher than in Asians, whereas in MMs were lower than in Caucasians and higher than in Asians only for UGT1A4*2. Present results could be helpful to improve the use of UGT1A4 drug substrates in order to adjust them to the ethnic background of a given population, specifically for Hispanics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / genetics*
  • Hispanic Americans / genetics
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Metabolic Detoxication, Phase II / genetics*
  • Mexican Americans / genetics
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Spain


  • bilirubin glucuronoside glucuronosyltransferase
  • Glucuronosyltransferase