Journal Article

Interindividual Variability in the Prevalence of <i>OPRM1</i> and <i>CYP2B6</i> Gene Variations May Identify Drug-Susceptible Populations

H. Bunten, W.J. Liang, D.J. Pounder, C. Seneviratne and D. Osselton

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 35, issue 7, pages 431-437
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Interindividual Variability in the Prevalence of OPRM1 and CYP2B6 Gene Variations May Identify Drug-Susceptible Populations

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Methadone is used worldwide for the treatment of heroin addiction; however, fatal poisonings are increasingly reported. The prevalence of CYP2B6 and µ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) gene variations were examined between a postmortem population where the deaths were associated with methadone and a live non-drug-using control population using Taqman™ SNP Genotyping assays. The CYP2B6*6 allele was higher in the postmortem population, but the difference was not significant (P = 0.92). The CYP2B6 T750C promoter variation was similar in frequency for both populations. Linkage between T750C and CYP2B6*6 was identified for both populations (P < 0.01). The prevalence of the OPRM1 A118G variation was significantly higher in the control population (P = 0.0046), which might indicate a protective mechanism against opioid toxicity. Individual susceptibility to methadone may be determined by screening for CYP2B6*6.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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