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Pharmacology. 2006;77(3):105-14. Epub 2006 May 10.

Thiopurine S-methyltransferase pharmacogenetics: genotype to phenotype correlation in the Slovenian population.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The toxicity of thiopurine drugs has been correlated to the activity of thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT), whose interindividual variation is a consequence of genetic polymorphisms. We have herein investigated the relevance of some genetic markers for the prediction of thiopurine-related toxicities and to determine the genotype to phenotype correlation in the Slovenian population. The most prevalent mutant allele in the Slovenian population is TPMT*3A (4.1%), followed by TPMT*3C (0.5) and TPMT*3B (0.3), while the TPMT*2 allele was not found in any of the examined samples. TPMT enzyme activity distribution in the subgroup sample was bimodal and as such correlated with genetic data. Using a cutoff value of 9.82 pmol/10(7) RBC per h, the genetic data correctly predicted TPMT enzyme activity in 91.6% of the examined individuals. Pharmacogenetic TPMT analyses have therefore proved to have significant clinical implications for prediction of individuals' responses to treatment with thiopurine drugs in order to avoid possible life-threatening therapy-related toxicities.

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