Treatment News : Gene Mutation Might Affect HIV Drug Levels in Body

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Treatment News » May 2010

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


May 13, 2010

Gene Mutation Might Affect HIV Drug Levels in Body

Researchers at Ohio State University announced that they have discovered a gene mutation that can significantly increase blood levels of roughly half of all drugs on the market—including many HIV drugs. This finding could ultimately lead to individualized dosing of medications and potentially reduce the risk of side effects, depending on whether a person has the mutation.

Many medications are broken down by enzymes in the gut and liver. One enzyme in particular, CYP3A4, is responsible for metabolizing between 45 and 60 percent of all drugs on the market today. A number of HIV treatments, including most protease inhibitors (PIs), rely on CYP3A4.

Researchers have long known that some people metabolize drugs affected by CYP3A4 more slowly than others—leading to higher toxicity in some people—but scientists hadn’t yet found a genetic mutation, called a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), that could explain this difference.

Two Ohio State researchers, Danxin Wang, PhD, and Wolfgang Sadee, identified an SNP on the Intron 6 gene that affects CYP3A4 blood levels. They tested the SNP’s influence on a group of 273 HIV-negative Caucasian patients taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol. Wang and Sadee found that roughly 10 percent of the participants carried the SNP they’d discovered and that the SNP’s presence was strongly linked to blood levels of the statins.

“Right now, because there are no biomarkers available to predict CYP3A4 activity, trial and error determines whether cholesterol goes down with the prescribed dose,” Wang said. “You never know who has what enzyme level, so you never really know what dose to give an individual if you don’t have a biomarker.”

Though the researchers have not studied the SNP’s influence on HIV drugs, it is possible that the gene mutation will one day guide dosing studies of HIV drugs and, eventually, be incorporated into the clinical care of people living with HIV.

A commercial test for the SNP isn’t yet available, but Wang hopes technological advances will help make the test available for research studies, and ultimately patients, in the future.

Search: Gene mutation, single nucleotide polymorphism, SNP, Intron 6, CYP3A4, statin, protease inhibitor, Danxin Wang, Wolfgang Sadee, drug level, metabolism, liver enzyme

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (1 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.