Interindividual differences in thiopurine metabolism: studies with focus on inflammatory bowel disease
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The thiopurines, 6-mercaptopurine and its prodrug azathioprine, are used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s disease. The main active metabolites are the phosphorylated thioguanine nucleotides (6-TGNs) and methylated thioinosine monophosphate (meTIMP). Both groups contribute to the immunomodulatory effects. About 30-40% of patients fail to benefit from thiopurine treatment. A well-known cause of adverse reactions is decreased or absent thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) activity. Low TPMT activity is inherited as an autosomal codominant recessive trait and is present in approximately 10% of the population. Although several clinical issues can be solved from determination of TPMT activity, there are cases where it is not possible. In Sweden approximately 25% of IBD-patients display suboptimal 6-TGN concentrations and unexpectedly high concentrations of meTIMP despite a normal TPMT activity. A high meTIMP/6-TGN concentration ratio has been associated with both unresponsiveness to therapy and emergence of adverse reactions. Inosine 5’-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) may constitute a candidate gene to explain this metabolite profile, as it is strategically positioned in the metabolic pathway of thiopurines where it competes with TPMT for their common substrate 6-TIMP.
In paper I a pyrosequencing method was developed for genotyping of at that time all known genetic variants of TPMT. The concordance between genotype and phenotype in 30 individuals was 93%. The allele frequencies of TPMT*3A, *3B, *3C and *2 in a Swedish background population (n=800) were in agreement with those in other Caucasian or European populations. In Paper II-IV we explored the molecular basis of different metabolite profiles, i.e. low, normal and high meTIMP/6-TGN concentration ratios. The activity of IMPDH was measured in mononuclear cells (MNC). Patients with high metabolite ratios had lower IMPDH activity than patients with normal or low ratios, explained by an inverse correlation to red blood cells concentration of meTIMP. No correlation to 6-TGN was observed. Downregulation of IMPDH activity in HEK293 cells with genetically engineered TPMT activity was associated with an increase in meTIMP, but unexpectedly also of 6-TGN, irrespective of the TPMT status. These results suggest effects of pharmacogenes other than TPMT and IMPDH. A whole genome expression analysis was performed, (1) to identify new candidate genes that could explain differences in metabolite profiles, and (2) to study genes with known associations to the metabolic pathway of (thio)purines. The whole genome expression analysis did not identify any significant group differences. In analysis of the thiopurine related genes, three clusters of co-regulated genes were defined. A co-operation between expression levels of SLC29A1 and NT5E in explaining the meTIMP/6-TGN concentration ratio was observed, and individually SLC29A1 and NT5E correlated to 6-TGN and meTIMP, respectively.
Pysosequencing is a convenient and flexible method which is now run in parallel to phenotyping in our laboratory. Our results also illustrate the complexity of the thiopurine metabolism and suggest that differences between metabolite profiles are explained either by interactions between several genes, each with a small contribution, or at the post-transcriptional level. Search for more precise tools to explain differences in metabolite profiles is needed. Furthermore, in order to investigate small effects it is necessary to analyse metabolite concentrations and gene expression levels, as well as enzyme activities in the target cells of therapy (MNC).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2011. , 96 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1231
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-66434ISBN: 978-91-7393-213-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-66434DiVA: diva2:403844
2011-04-15, Aulan, Länssjukhuset Ryhov, Jönköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Nilsson, Åke, Professor
Almer, Sven, Dr.Söderman, Jan, Dr.Peterson, Curt, Professor
List of papers