Based on pre-DNA racial/color methodology, clinical and pharmacological trials have traditionally considered the different geographical regions of Brazil as being very heterogeneous. We wished to ascertain how such diversity of regional color categories correlated with ancestry. Using a panel of 40 validated ancestry-informative insertion-deletion DNA polymorphisms we estimated individually the European, African and Amerindian ancestry components of 934 self-categorized White, Brown or Black Brazilians from the four most populous regions of the Country. We unraveled great ancestral diversity between and within the different regions. Especially, color categories in the northern part of Brazil diverged significantly in their ancestry proportions from their counterparts in the southern part of the Country, indicating that diverse regional semantics were being used in the self-classification as White, Brown or Black. To circumvent these regional subjective differences in color perception, we estimated the general ancestry proportions of each of the four regions in a form independent of color considerations. For that, we multiplied the proportions of a given ancestry in a given color category by the official census information about the proportion of that color category in the specific region, to arrive at a “total ancestry” estimate. Once such a calculation was performed, there emerged a much higher level of uniformity than previously expected. In all regions studied, the European ancestry was predominant, with proportions ranging from 60.6% in the Northeast to 77.7% in the South. We propose that the immigration of six million Europeans to Brazil in the 19th and 20th centuries - a phenomenon described and intended as the “whitening of Brazil” - is in large part responsible for dissipating previous ancestry dissimilarities that reflected region-specific population histories. These findings, of both clinical and sociological importance for Brazil, should also be relevant to other countries with ancestrally admixed populations.
Warfarin-dosing algorithms incorporating CYP2C9 and VKORC1 ؊1639G>A improve dose prediction compared with algorithms based solely on clinical and demographic factors. However, these algorithms better capture dose variability among whites than Asians or blacks. Herein, we evaluate whether other VKORC1 polymorphisms and haplotypes explain additional variation in warfarin dose beyond that explained by VKORC1 ؊1639G>A among Asians (n ؍ 1103), blacks (n ؍ 670), and whites (n ؍ 3113).Participants were recruited from 11 countries as part of the International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium effort. Evaluation of the effects of individual VKORC1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes on warfarin dose used both univariate and multivariable linear regression. VKORC1 ؊1639G>A and 1173C>T individually explained the greatest variance in dose in all 3 racial groups. Incorporation of additional VKORC1 SNPs or haplotypes did not further improve dose prediction.VKORC1 explained greater variability in dose among whites than blacks and Asians. Differences in the percentage of variance in dose explained by VKORC1 across race were largely accounted for by the frequency of the ؊1639A (or 1173T) allele. Thus, clinicians should recognize that, although at a population level, the contribution of VKORC1 toward dose requirements is higher in whites than in nonwhites; genotype predicts similar dose requirements across racial groups. (Blood. 2010;115(18):3827-3834)
IntroductionWarfarin, the most commonly prescribed anticoagulant, exhibits large interpatient variability in dose requirements. Patient-specific factors (eg, age, body size, race, concurrent diseases, and medications) explain some of the variability in warfarin dose, but genetic factors influencing warfarin response explain a significantly higher proportion of the variability in dose. 1 Candidate-gene association studies 2-22 have identified 2 genes responsible for the main proportion of the genetic effect: CYP2C9, which codes for the enzyme cytochrome P450 2C9 that metabolizes S-warfarin, 23,24 and VKORC1, which codes for warfarin's target, vitamin K epoxide reductase. 25,26 The influence of CYP2C9 and VKORC1 has also been confirmed by genome-wide association studies among whites. 27,28 These studies suggest that identification of common variants in other genes exhibiting influence of magnitude similar to that of CYP2C9 and VKORC1 is unlikely in whites. The most influential CYP2C9 polymorphisms are nonsynonymous coding variants resulting in reduced enzyme activity and decreased metabolic capacity.  In contrast, common VKORC1 variants associated with warfarin dose are noncoding polymorphisms, the effects of which are thought to be mediated through differential expression of the VKOR protein. 32 These polymorphisms are within a region of strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) among patients of European ancestry; thus, they may all point to the same common causal polymorphism. 10,14 However, neither the causative VKORC1 polymorphism nor the molecula...
A dosing algorithm including genetic (VKORC1 and CYP2C9 genotypes) and nongenetic factors (age, weight, therapeutic indication, and cotreatment with amiodarone or simvastatin) explained 51% of the variance in stable weekly warfarin doses in 390 patients attending an anticoagulant clinic in a Brazilian public hospital. The VKORC1 3673G>A genotype was the most important predictor of warfarin dose, with a partial R(2) value of 23.9%. Replacing the VKORC1 3673G>A genotype with VKORC1 diplotype did not increase the algorithm's predictive power. We suggest that three other single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (5808T>G, 6853G>C, and 9041G>A) that are in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with 3673G>A would be equally good predictors of the warfarin dose requirement. The algorithm's predictive power was similar across the self-identified "race/color" subsets. "Race/color" was not associated with stable warfarin dose in the multiple regression model, although the required warfarin dose was significantly lower (P = 0.006) in white (29 +/- 13 mg/week, n = 196) than in black patients (35 +/- 15 mg/week, n = 76).
Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) activity exhibits a monogenic codominant inheritance and catabolizes thiopurines. TPMT variant alleles are associated with low enzyme activity and pronounced pharmacologic effects of thiopurines. Loss‐of‐function alleles in the NUDT15 gene are common in Asians and Hispanics and reduce the degradation of active thiopurine nucleotide metabolites, also predisposing to myelosuppression. We provide recommendations for adjusting starting doses of azathioprine, mercaptopurine, and thioguanine based on TPMT and NUDT15 genotypes (updates on http://www.cpicpgx.org).
The use of race in biomedical research has, for decades, been a source of social controversy. However, recent events, such as the adoption of racially targeted pharmaceuticals, have raised the profile of the race issue. In addition, we are entering an era in which genomic research is increasingly focused on the nature and extent of human genetic variation, often examined by population, which leads to heightened potential for misunderstandings or misuse of terms concerning genetic variation and race. Here, we draw together the perspectives of participants in a recent interdisciplinary workshop on ancestry and health in medicine in order to explore the use of race in research issue from the vantage point of a variety of disciplines. We review the nature of the race controversy in the context of biomedical research and highlight several challenges to policy action, including restrictions resulting from commercial or regulatory considerations, the difficulty in presenting precise terminology in the media, and drifting or ambiguous definitions of key terms.
Interethnic admixture is a source of cryptic population structure that may lead to spurious genotype-phenotype associations in pharmacogenetic/-genomic studies. Logistic regression modeling of GST polymorphisms shows that admixture must be dealt with as a continuous variable, rather than proportioned in arbitrary subcategories for the convenience of data quantification and analysis.
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