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Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2011 Nov;15(11):801-6. doi: 10.1089/gtmb.2010.0221. Epub 2011 Jul 5.

CYP2D6 genotyping in natives and immigrants from the Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy).

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Department of Medicine and Public Health, Section of Legal Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


Pharmacogenetic testing of drug metabolizing enzyme polymorphisms provides an important tool to improve prescribing decisions, avoiding therapeutic failure and adverse drug reactions. Cytochrome P450 2D6 isoform plays an important role in the metabolism of about 20%-25% of widely used clinical drugs. Interethnic differences in allele frequency distribution of the CYP2D6 gene are well established, but interethnic admixture, introducing variations in population ancestry and resulting in distinct levels of population structure, should be acknowledged in pharmacogenomic studies to avoid inappropriate extrapolation of CYP2D6 data. The aim of the present research was to characterize CYP2D6 polymorphism in a random sample of 122 natives and 175 immigrants from Africa, Asia, and South America living in the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), considering the present scenario of immigration and back migration events, which is a source of admixture. The results are today consistent with the known interethnic genetic variation, but the observed significant divergence between natives and Africans or South-East Asians predicts that admixture will reshape the population structure and the native metabolic ratio curve requiring, for drug prescription and pharmacogenetics studies, an interdisciplinary approach applied in an appropriate biogeographical and anthropological frame.

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