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J Clin Pharm Ther. 2003 Aug;28(4):279-84.

Genetic polymorphism of CYP2D6 in Chinese subjects in Malaysia.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia.



Although Malaysian Chinese share an origin with the mainland Chinese, their evolution has been influenced by intermarriages. With a gene such as CYP2D6, which is highly polymorphic, it is expected that the Malaysian Chinese would exhibit a polymorphism profile different from those of the Chinese populations in other geographical locations.


To study the genotype distribution of CYP2D6 among the Chinese people in Malaysia.


We obtained DNA from 236 Chinese individuals in Malaysia and used PCR-based methods to identify any common CYP2D6 alleles.


A total of 236 subjects were enrolled and were successfully genotyped. Malaysian Chinese were relatively heterogeneous in terms of their CYP2D6 genotypes with nine genotypes recorded. CYP2D6*4, *5, *9, *10 and *17 were detected with the most common genotype being *1/*10. No subject had genotypes that predicted poor metabolic activity. However, 40% showed genotypes (e.g. CYP2D6*10/*10, *17, *4 and *9 and *9/*9) that predicted an intermediate metabolizer phenotype. Another subject carried the defective CYP2D6*17 allele and six carried the defective CYP2D6*9 allele. Both these alleles have not been reported in other earlier Chinese studies.


This study revealed that, in terms of CYP2D6 polymorphism, Malaysian Chinese were a heterogeneous group of people. Although sharing some similarities with other Orientals, they also seemed to have some notable differences. The alleles CYP2D6*4, *5, *9, *10 and *17 were all detected. CYP2D6*3 was however absent.

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