Single nucleotide polymorphism discovery and functional assessment of variation in the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B7 gene

Federico Innocenti*, Wanqing Liu, Donna Fackenthal, Jacqueline Ramírez, Peixian Chen, Xin Ye, Xiaolin Wu, Wei Zhang, Snezana Mirkov, Soma Das, Edwin Cook, Mark J. Ratain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B7 (UGT2B7) plays a central role in the liver-mediated biotransformation of endogenous and exogenous compounds. The genetic basis of interindividual variability in UGT2B7 function is unknown. This study aimed to discover novel gene variants of functional significance. METHODS: Caucasian human livers (n=54) were used. UGT2B7 was resequenced in 12 samples [(six highest and six lowest for the formation of morphine-3-glucuronide (M3G)]. Haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in the entire sample set. Samples were phenotyped for mRNA expression. RESULTS: 10 haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified and their haplotypes were inferred. Haplotype 4 (-45597G; -6682--6683A; 372A; IVS1+9-IVS1+10A; IVS1+829T; IVS1+985G; IVS1+999C; IVS1+1250G; 801T; IVS4+185C) (frequency of 0.12) was associated with an increase in enzyme activity and gene expression. The 1/4 and 4/6 diplotypes had higher M3G formation compared with 1/1 (P<0.05) and 2/3 (P<0.01) diplotypes. Diplotypes containing haplotype 4 resulted in a significant 45% average increase in the formation of M3G compared with diplotypes without haplotype 4 (P=0.002). There was also an association between haplotype 4 and increased mRNA expression. IVS1+985A>G, 735A>G, and 1062C>T are the putative functional variants of haplotype 4. We also identified two mRNA splicing variants (UGT2B7-v2 and UGT2B7-v3) splicing out exon 1, 4, 5, and 6 but sharing exons 2 and 3 with the involvement of additional 5 exons. UGT2B7-v2 was detected in all livers tested, but UGT2B7-v3 was present at much lower levels compared with UGT2B7-v2. The UGT2B7 reference sequence mRNA is now named UGT2B7-v1. CONCLUSION: UGT2B7 haplotype 4 is functional and its effects on the biotransformation of UGT2B7 substrates should be tested in controlled clinical trials. Biochemical studies should investigate the functional role of the newly discovered mRNA splicing variants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-697
Number of pages15
JournalPharmacogenetics and genomics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Haplotype
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism
  • Splicing variant
  • UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Genetics(clinical)


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