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    Pharmacogenetics involves complex interactions of gene products affecting pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, but there is little information on the interaction of multiple genetic modifiers of drug response. Bucindolol is a β-blocker/sympatholytic agent whose efficacy is modulated by polymorphisms in the primary target (β(1) adrenergic receptor [AR] Arg389 Gly on cardiac myocytes) and a secondary target modifier (α(2C) AR Ins [wild-type (Wt)] 322-325 deletion [Del] on cardiac adrenergic neurons). The major allele homozygotes and minor allele carriers of each polymorphism are respectively associated with efficacy enhancement and loss, creating the possibility for genotype combination interactions that can be measured by clinical trial methodology. In a 1,040 patient substudy of a bucindolol vs. placebo heart failure clinical trial, we tested the hypothesis that combinations of β(1)389 and α(2C)322-325 polymorphisms are additive for both efficacy enhancement and loss. Additionally, norepinephrine (NE) affinity for β(1)389 AR variants was measured in human explanted left ventricles. The combination of β(1)389 Arg+α(2C)322-325 Wt major allele homozygotes (47% of the trial population) was non-additive for efficacy enhancement across six clinical endpoints, with an average efficacy increase of 1.70-fold vs. 2.32-fold in β(1)389 Arg homozygotes+α(2C)322-325 Del minor allele carriers. In contrast, the minor allele carrier combination (13% subset) exhibited additive efficacy loss. These disparate effects are likely due to the higher proportion (42% vs. 8.7%, P = 0.009) of high-affinity NE binding sites in β(1)389 Arg vs. Gly ARs, which converts α(2C)Del minor allele-associated NE lowering from a therapeutic liability to a benefit. On combination, the two sets of AR polymorphisms 1) influenced bucindolol efficacy seemingly unpredictably but consistent with their pharmacologic interactions, and 2) identified subpopulations with enhanced (β(1)389 Arg homozygotes), intermediate (β(1)389 Gly carriers+α(2C)322-325 Wt homozygotes), and no (β(1)389 Gly carriers+α(2C)322-325 Del carriers) efficacy.


    Christopher M O'Connor, Mona Fiuzat, Peter E Carson, Inder S Anand, Jonathan F Plehn, Stephen S Gottlieb, Marc A Silver, JoAnn Lindenfeld, Alan B Miller, Michel White, Ryan Walsh, Penny Nelson, Allen Medway, Gordon Davis, Alastair D Robertson, J David Port, James Carr, Guinevere A Murphy, Laura C Lazzeroni, William T Abraham, Stephen B Liggett, Michael R Bristow. Combinatorial pharmacogenetic interactions of bucindolol and β1, α2C adrenergic receptor polymorphisms. PloS one. 2012;7(10):e44324

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    PMID: 23071495

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