Hyderabad: CCMB decodes genes that metabolise medicines | Hyderabad News

HYDERABAD: Scientists at the city-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) have decoded the gene that helps in the metabolism of medicines in the body, paving way towards personalised medicine.

If the CCMB study has its way, doctors will now decide the right dosage for each individual depending on the sequence of his or her gene called cytochrome-P450-2C0 or simply CYP2C9. This will not only help in effective treatment of the diseases but also ensure that there are no side effects or adverse reactions. “The healthcare is now moving towards personalised medicine. Our studies on the genetic diversity of India will play an important role in this transition,” said CCMB director Dr Rakesh Mishra.
Doctors prescribe dose of the drugs on the basis of gender, age and body mass index (BMI) of the patients. However, sometimes it fails to treat the disease. Rather it causes reaction like rashes, vomiting and nausea. Often, the medicines do not work at all and doctors prescribe another medicine. This is because drugs need to be broken down in the body for their action to take place. Enzymes are a class of proteins that metabolise the drugs.
The functions of these proteins are dictated by their structures. The blueprint of their structures is held in their respective genes in every person. Individuals in a population have variations in their genes. More endogamous (marriage within community) the population such as in many communities of India, lesser is the variation expected among their genes. According to CCMB scientists, this gene is needed for metabolism of a wide range of drugs, including anti-epileptic drug ‘phenytoin’ and anti-hypersensitive drug ‘losartan’. Any changes in the sequence of CYP2C9 gene may affect the production of CYP2C9 protein in human liver. This can cause slower metabolism of drugs slower or a reduced rate of excretion of the drug.
CCMB scientist Dr K Thangaraj and his team studied the diversity of this gene among 1,488 Indians across 36 population groups, representing different linguistic groups, castes and tribes among other parameters. They also looked into genes of 1087 individuals from other countries of South Asia. “We found eight new variants of the CYP2C9 gene, making a total of 11 known variants of the gene in south Asia,” said Dr Nizamuddin, first author in the study. A few Indian populations have more than 20% people with a deleterious variant of CYP2C9 gene – CYP2C9*3. Those with this variant are at a disadvantage in their ability to metabolise drugs.

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