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Pharmacogenomics J. 2005;5(4):262-70.

Common VKORC1 and GGCX polymorphisms associated with warfarin dose.

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  • 1Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


We report a novel combination of factors that explains almost 60% of variable response to warfarin. Warfarin is a widely used anticoagulant, which acts through interference with vitamin K epoxide reductase that is encoded by VKORC1. In the next step of the vitamin K cycle, gamma-glutamyl carboxylase encoded by GGCX uses reduced vitamin K to activate clotting factors. We genotyped 201 warfarin-treated patients for common polymorphisms in VKORC1 and GGCX. All the five VKORC1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms covary significantly with warfarin dose, and explain 29-30% of variance in dose. Thus, VKORC1 has a larger impact than cytochrome P450 2C9, which explains 12% of variance in dose. In addition, one GGCX SNP showed a small but significant effect on warfarin dose. Incorrect dosage, especially during the initial phase of treatment, carries a high risk of either severe bleeding or failure to prevent thromboembolism. Genotype-based dose predictions may in future enable personalised drug treatment from the start of warfarin therapy.

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