Aims: CYP3A4 is involved in the oxidative metabolism of many drugs and xenobiotics including the immunosuppressants tacrolimus (Tac) and cyclosporine (CsA). The objective of the study was to assess the potential influence of a new functional SNP in CYP3A4 on the pharmacokinetic parameters assessed by dose requirements and trough blood levels of both calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) in stable renal transplant patients. Patients & methods: A total of 99 stable renal transplant patients receiving either Tac (n = 49) or CsA (n = 50) were genotyped for the CYP3A4 intron 6 C>T (rs35599367) and CYP3A5*3 SNPs. Trough blood levels ([Tac] 0 or [CsA] 0 in ng/ml), dose-adjusted [Tac] 0 or [CsA] 0 (ng/ml per mg/kg bodyweight) as well as doses (mg/kg bodyweight) required to achieve target concentrations were compared among patients according to allelic status for CYP3A4 and CYP3A5. Results: Dose-adjusted concentrations were 2.0-and 1.6-fold higher in T-variant allele carriers for the CYP3A4 intron 6 C>T SNP compared with homozygous CC for Tac and CsA, respectively. When CYP3A4/CYP3A5 genotypes were combined, the difference was even more striking as the so-defined CYP3A poor metabolizer group presented dose-adjusted concentration 1.6-and 4.1-fold higher for Tac, and 1.5-and 2.2-fold higher for CsA than the intermediate metabolizer and extensive metabolizer groups, respectively. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that, taken together, both CYP3A4 intron 6 and CYP3A5*3 SNPs explained more than 60 and 20% of the variability observed in dose-adjusted [Tac] 0 and [CsA] 0, respectively. Conclusion: The CYP3A4 intron 6 C>T polymorphism is associated with altered Tac and CsA metabolism. CYP3A4 intron 6 C>T along with CYP3A5*3 (especially for Tac) pharmacogenetic testing performed just before transplantation may help identifying patients at risk of CNI overexposure and contribute to limit CNI-related nephrotoxicity by refining the starting dose according to their genotype. Original submitted 5 May 2011; Revision submitted 29 June 201.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry

Elens, L, van Schaik, R.H.N, Panin, N, Meyer, M, Wallemacq, P, Lison, D, … Haufroid, V. (2011). Effect of a new functional CYP3A4 polymorphism on calcineurin inhibitors’ dose requirements and trough blood levels in stable renal transplant patients. Pharmacogenomics, 12(10), 1383–1396. doi:10.2217/pgs.11.90