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Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2009 Apr;19(4):300-9. doi: 10.1097/FPC.0b013e328328d577.

In vivo analysis of efavirenz metabolism in individuals with impaired CYP2A6 function.

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  • 1Institute of Microbiology Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital Center, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The antiretroviral drug efavirenz (EFV) is extensively metabolized into three primary metabolites: 8-hydroxy-EFV, 7-hydroxy-EFV and N-glucuronide-EFV. There is a wide interindividual variability in EFV plasma exposure, explained to a great extent by cytochrome P450 2B6 (CYP2B6), the main isoenzyme responsible for EFV metabolism and involved in the major metabolic pathway (8-hydroxylation) and to a lesser extent in 7-hydroxylation. When CYP2B6 function is impaired, the relevance of CYP2A6, the main isoenzyme responsible for 7-hydroxylation may increase. We hypothesize that genetic variability in this gene may contribute to the particularly high, unexplained variability in EFV exposure in individuals with limited CYP2B6 function.

METHODS:

This study characterized CYP2A6 variation (14 alleles) in individuals (N=169) previously characterized for functional variants in CYP2B6 (18 alleles). Plasma concentrations of EFV and its primary metabolites (8-hydroxy-EFV, 7-hydroxy-EFV and N-glucuronide-EFV) were measured in different genetic backgrounds in vivo.

RESULTS:

The accessory metabolic pathway CYP2A6 has a critical role in limiting drug accumulation in individuals characterized as CYP2B6 slow metabolizers.

CONCLUSION:

Dual CYP2B6 and CYP2A6 slow metabolism occurs at significant frequency in various human populations, leading to extremely high EFV exposure.

PMID:
19238117
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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