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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Aug 15;30(4):375-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2009.04057.x. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Novel pharmacogenetic markers for treatment outcome in azathioprine-treated inflammatory bowel disease.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Guy's & St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.



Azathioprine (AZA) pharmacogenetics are complex and much studied. Genetic polymorphism in TPMT is known to influence treatment outcome. Xanthine oxidase/dehydrogenase (XDH) and aldehyde oxidase (AO) compete with TPMT to inactivate AZA.


To assess whether genetic polymorphism in AOX1, XDH and MOCOS (the product of which activates the essential cofactor for AO and XDH) is associated with AZA treatment outcome in IBD.


Real-time PCR was conducted for a panel of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in AOX1, XDH and MOCOS using TaqMan SNP genotyping assays in a prospective cohort of 192 patients receiving AZA for IBD.


Single nucleotide polymorphism AOX1 c.3404A > G (Asn1135Ser, rs55754655) predicted lack of AZA response (P = 0.035, OR 2.54, 95%CI 1.06-6.13) and when combined with TPMT activity, this information allowed stratification of a patient's chance of AZA response, ranging from 86% in patients where both markers were favourable to 33% where they were unfavourable (P < 0.0001). We also demonstrated a weak protective effect against adverse drug reactions (ADRs) from SNPs XDH c.837C > T (P = 0.048, OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.05-1.05) and MOCOS c.2107A > C, (P = 0.058 in recessive model, OR 0.64, 95%CI 0.36-1.15), which was stronger where they coincided (P = 0.019).


These findings have important implications for clinical practice and our understanding of AZA metabolism.

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