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J Hum Genet. 2001;46(9):529-37.

Identification of 197 genetic variations in six human methyltranferase genes in the Japanese population.

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Laboratory for Genotyping, SNP Research Center, Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Tokyo, Japan.


Methylation is an important event in the biotransformation pathway for many drugs and xenobiotic compounds. We screened DNA from 48 Japanese individuals for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in six methyltransferase (MT) genes (catechol-O-MT, COMT; guanidinoacetate N-MT, GAMT; histamine N-MT, HNMT; nicotinamide N-MT, NNMT; phosphatidylethanolamine N-MT, PEMT; and phenylethanolamine N-MT, PNMT) by direct sequencing of their entire genomic regions except for repetitive elements. This approach identified 190 SNPs and seven insertion/deletion polymorphisms among the six genes. Of the 190 SNPs, 33 were identified in the COMT gene, 6 in GAMT, 41 in HNMT, 8 in NNMT, 98 in PEMT, and 4 in PNMT. Nine were located in 5' flanking regions, 156 in introns, 10 in exons, and 15 in 3' flanking regions. These variants may contribute to a more precise understanding of possible correlations between genotypes and disease-susceptibility phenotypes or risk for side effects from drugs.

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