ABCB1 haplotype and OPRM1 118A > G genotype interaction in methadone maintenance treatment pharmacogenetics

Daniel Barratt, Janet Coller, Richard Hallinan, Andrew Byrne, Jason White, David Foster, Andrew Somogyi

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    47 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Genetic variability in ABCB1, encoding the P-glycoprotein efflux transporter, has been linked to altered methadone maintenance treatment dose requirements. However, subsequent studies have indicated that additional environmental or genetic factors may confound ABCB1 pharmacogenetics in different methadone maintenance treatment settings. There is evidence that genetic variability in OPRM1, encoding the mu opioid receptor, and ABCB1 may interact to affect morphine response in opposite ways. This study aimed to examine whether a similar gene-gene interaction occurs for methadone in methadone maintenance treatment. Methods: Opioid-dependent subjects (n = 119) maintained on methadone (15-300 mg/day) were genotyped for five single nucleotide polymorphisms of ABCB1 (61A> G; 1199 G > A; 1236C > T; 2677G > T; 3435C > T), as well as for the OPRM1 118A. G single nucleotide polymorphism. Subjects' methadone doses and trough plasma (R)-methadone concentrations (C trough) were compared between ABCB1 haplotypes (with and without controlling for OPRM1 genotype), and between OPRM1 genotypes (with and without controlling for ABCB1 haplotype). Results: Among wild-type OPRM1 subjects, an ABCB1 variant haplotype group (subjects with a wild-type and 61A:1199G:1236C:2677T:3435T haplotype combination, or homozygous for the 61A:1199G:1236C:2677T:3435T haplotype) had significantly lower doses (median ± standard deviation 35 ± 5 versus 180 ± 65 mg/day, P< 0.01) and C trough (78 ± 22 versus 177 ± 97 ng/mL, P < 0.05) than ABCB1 wild-type subjects. Among subjects with the most common ABCB1 haplotype combination (wild-type with 61A:1199G:1236T:2677T:3435T), the OPRM1 118 A/G genotype was associated with a significantly higher C trough than 118 A/A (250 ± 126 versus 108 ± 36 ng/mL, P = 0.016). No ABCB1 haplotype group or OPRM1 genotype was associated with dose or C trough without taking into account confounding genetic variability at the other locus. Therefore, two interacting pharmacogenetic determinants of methadone maintenance treatment response were identified, ie, ABCB1, where variants are associated with lower methadone requirements, and OPRM1, where the variant is associated with higher methadone requirements. Conclusion: These opposing pharmacogenetic effects therefore need to be considered in combination when assessing methadone maintenance treatment pharmacogenetics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-62
    Number of pages10
    JournalCurrent Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2012


    • ABCB1
    • Methadone
    • Mu
    • Opiate substitution treatment
    • Opioid
    • OPRM1
    • P-glycoprotein
    • Receptors


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