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Pharmacogenetics. 1997 Oct;7(5):361-7.

Genetic association between sensitivity to warfarin and expression of CYP2C9*3.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Cytochrome P4502C9 (CYP2C9) is largely responsible for terminating the anticoagulant effect of racemic warfarin via hydroxylation of the pharmacologically more potent S-enantiomer to inactive metabolites. Mutations in the CYP2C9 gene result in the expression of three allelic variants, CYP2C9*1, CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3. Both CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 exhibit altered catalytic properties in vitro relative to the wild-type enzyme. In the present study, a patient was genotyped who had proven unusually sensitive to warfarin therapy and could tolerate no more than 0.5 mg of the racemic drug/day. PCR-amplification of exons 3 and 7 of the CYP2C9 gene, followed by restriction digest or sequence analysis, showed that this individual was homozygous for CYP2C9*3. In addition, patient plasma warfarin enantiomer ratios and urinary 7-hydroxywarfarin enantiomer ratios were determined by chiral-phase high performance liquid chromotography in order to investigate whether either parameter might be of diagnostic value in place of a genotypic test. Control patients receiving 4-8 mg warfarin/day exhibited plasma S:R ratios of 0.50 +/- 0.25:1, whereas the patient on very low-dose warfarin exhibited an S:R ratio of 3.9:1. In contrast, the urinary 7-hydroxywarfarin S:R ratio of 4:1 showed the same stereoselectivity as that reported for control patients. Therefore, expression of CYP2C9*3 is associated with diminished clearance of S-warfarin and a dangerously exacerbated therapeutic response to normal doses of the racemic drug. Analysis of the plasma S:R warfarin ratio may serve as a useful alternative test to genotyping for this genetic defect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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