Comprehensive characterization of pharmacogenetic variants in TPMT and NUDT15 in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Academic Article


  • Thiopurines [e.g. 6-mercaptopurine (6MP)] are essential for the cure of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) but can cause dose-limiting hematopoietic toxicity. Germline variants in drug-metabolizing enzyme genes TPMT and NUDT15 have been linked to the risk of thiopurine toxicity. However, the full spectrum of genetic polymorphism in these genes and their impact on the pharmacological effects of thiopurines remain unclear. Herein, we comprehensively sequenced the TPMT and NUDT15 genes in 685 children with ALL from the Children's Oncology Group AALL03N1 trial and evaluated their association with 6MP dose intensity. We identified 6 and 5 coding variants in TPMT and NUDT15 respectively, confirming the association at known pharmacogenetic variants. Importantly, we discovered a novel gain-offunction noncoding variants in TPMT associated with increased 6MP tolerance (rs12199316), with independent validation in 380 patients from the St. Jude Total Therapy XV protocol. Located adjacent to a regulatory DNA element, this intergenic variant was strongly associated TPMT transcription, with the variant allele linked to higher expression (P = 2.6 × 10-9). For NUDT15, one noncoding common variant, rs73189762, was identified as potentially related to 6MP intolerance. Collectively, we described pharmacogenetic variants in TPMT and NUDT15 associated with thiopurine sensitivity, providing further insights for implementing pharmacogeneticsbased thiopurine individualization.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Moriyama T; Yang W; Smith C; Pui CH; Evans WE; Relling MV; Bhatia S; Yang JJ
  • Start Page

  • 60
  • End Page

  • 66
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 2