Polymorphisms of human cytochrome P450 2C9 and the functional relevance

Shu Feng Zhou, Zhi Wei Zhou, Min Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Human cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) accounts for ~20% of hepatic total CYP content and metabolizes ~15% clinical drugs such as phenytoin, S-warfarin, tolbutamide, losartan, and many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs). CYP2C9 is highly polymorphic, with at least 33 variants of CYP2C9 (1B through 34) being identified so far. CYP2C9 2 is frequent among Caucasians with ~1% of the population being homozygous carriers and 22% are heterozygous. The corresponding figures for the CYP2C9 3 allele are 0.4% and 15%, respectively. There are a number of clinical studies addressing the impact of CYP2C9 polymorphisms on the clearance and/or therapeutic response of therapeutic drugs. These studies have highlighted the importance of the CYP2C9 2 and 3 alleles as a determining factor for drug clearance and drug response. The CYP2C9 polymorphisms are relevant for the efficacy and adverse effects of numerous NSAIDs, sulfonylurea antidiabetic drugs and, most critically, oral anticoagulants belonging to the class of vitamin K epoxide reductase inhibitors. Warfarin has served as a practical example of how pharmacogenetics can be utilized to achieve maximum efficacy and minimum toxicity. For many of these drugs, a clear gene-dose and gene-effect relationship has been observed in patients. In this regard, CYP2C9 alleles can be considered as a useful biomarker in monitoring drug response and adverse effects. Genetic testing of CYP2C9 is expected to play a role in predicting drug clearance and conducting individualized pharmacotherapy. However, prospective clinical studies with large samples are warranted to establish gene-dose and gene-effect relationships for CYP2C9 and its substrate drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-188
Number of pages24
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 5 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse effect
  • Biomarker
  • CYP2C9
  • Clearance
  • Enzyme activity
  • Ethnic
  • SNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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