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Trends Mol Med. 2013 Apr;19(4):227-38. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2012.12.006. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Current pharmacogenomic studies on hERG potassium channels.

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Pharmacogenetics Research Institute, Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Hunan Key Laboratory of Pharmacogenetics, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410078, PR China.


Genetic polymorphisms in human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) potassium channels are associated with many complex diseases and sensitivity to channel-related drugs. Genotypes may underlie different sensitivities to the same drug, and different drugs selectively repair the functional deficits caused by individual mutations. In fact, not all drugs that block hERG function have adverse effects as previously thought. This suggests that the severe adverse reactions observed clinically may only occur in subjects with a particular genotype, but to others may be safe. Similarly, a drug that is ineffective in one population may be both safe and effective in another. Therefore, detecting polymorphisms in KCNH2 encoding hERG1 is of great significance in guiding the prevention and treatment of related diseases, re-evaluating drug safety, and individualizing treatment. This article reviews current pharmacogenomic studies on hERG potassium channels to provide a reference for developing individualized treatments and evaluating their safety.

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