Smoking patterns and cessation rates vary widely across smokers and can be influenced by variation in rates of nicotine metabolism [i.e. cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6), enzyme activity]. There is high heritability of CYP2A6-mediated nicotine metabolism (60–80%) owing to known and unidentified genetic variation in the CYP2A6 gene. We aimed to identify and characterize additional genetic variants at the CYP2A6 gene locus.Methods
A new CYP2A6-specific sequencing method was used to investigate genetic variation in CYP2A6. Novel variants were characterized in a White human liver bank that has been extensively phenotyped for CYP2A6. Linkage and haplotype structure for the novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assessed. The association between novel five-SNP diplotypes and nicotine metabolism rate was investigated.Results
Seven high-frequency (minor allele frequencies ≥6%) noncoding SNPs were identified as important contributors to CYP2A6 phenotypes in a White human liver bank (rs57837628, rs7260629, rs7259706, rs150298687 (also denoted rs4803381), rs56113850, rs28399453, and rs8192733), accounting for two times more variation in in-vitro CYP2A6 activity relative to the four established functional CYP2A6 variants that are frequently tested in Whites (CYP2A6*2, *4, *9, and *12). Two pairs of novel SNPs were in high linkage disequilibrium, allowing us to establish five-SNP diplotypes that were associated with CYP2A6 enzyme activity (rate of nicotine metabolism) in-vitro in the liver bank and in-vivo among smokers.Conclusion
The novel five-SNP diplotype may be useful to incorporate into CYP2A6 genotype models for personalized prediction of nicotine metabolism rate, cessation success, and response to pharmacotherapies.