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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pharmacogenetics in clinical pharmacology and toxicology.

This subject was particularly important to discuss in the presence of Werner Kalow, 77 years young, who is considered as one of the grandfathers of this unique combination of medical research fields. It has become increasingly appreciated that dozens of human drug metabolism polymorphisms exist. The interindividual variabilities in drug metabolism discussed at this symposium do not represent small differences such as 50% or 3-fold but, rather, represent 10- to greater than 1000-fold differences. When attributed to a single gene, dramatic differences can be seen among family members, just as blue and brown eyes can occur in siblings. These differences can result in acute drug toxicity. In addition, there are chronic effects: over one's lifetime, striking differences in the metabolism of drugs, occupationally hazardous chemicals, and other environmental pollutants can lead to interindividual differences in the buildup of DNA damage (e.g., mutations, chromosomal breaks, rearrangements) leading to toxicity and tumor initiation, as well as leading to a buildup in nongenotoxic signals (signal transduction pathways without DNA damage) important for toxicity, tumor promotion, and tumor progression. The human UDP glucuronosyltransferase ( UGT superfamily is known to comprise more than 10 genes in humans, and probably in other mammalian species. Breakthroughs in UGT gene mutations responsible for the Crigler-Najjar syndrome and Gilbert's disease have recently been reported. The human cytochrome P450 termed CYP3A4 is a major P450 enzyme in the liver and gastrointestinal tract, and the full impact of the CYP3A4 polymorphism has yet to be fully appreciated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Pharmacogenetics in clinical pharmacology and toxicology. Inaba, T., Nebert, D.W., Burchell, B., Watkins, P.B., Goldstein, J.A., Bertilsson, L., Tucker, G.T. Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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