Defining targets for investigating the pharmacogenomics adverse drug reactions to antifungal agents

Joseph Meletiadis, Stephen Chanock, Thomas J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) associated with antifungal therapy are major problems in patients with invasive fungal infections. Whether by clinical history or patterns of genetic variation, the identification of patients at risk for ADRs should result in improved outcomes while minimizing deleterious side effects. A major contributing factor to ADRs with antifungal agents relates to drug distribution, metabolism and excretion. Genetic variation in key genes can alter the structure and expression of genes and gene products (e.g., proteins). Thus far, the effort has focused on identifying polymorphisms with either empirical or predicted in silico functional consequences; the best candidate genes encode phase I and II drug-metabolizing enzymes (e.g., CYP2C19 and N-acetyltransferase), plasma proteins (albumin and lipoproteins) and drug transporters (P-glycoprotein and multidrug resistance proteins), which can affect the disposition of antifungal agents, eventually leading to dose-dependent (type A) toxicity. Less is known regarding the key genes that interact with antifungal agents, resulting in idiosyncratic (type B) ADRs. The possible role of certain gene products and genetic polymorphisms in the toxicities of antifungal agents are discussed in this review. The preliminary data address the following: low-density lipoproteins and cholesteryl ester transfer protein in amphotericin B renal toxicity; toll-like receptor 1 and 2 in amphotericin B infusion-related ADRs; phosphodliesterase 6 in voriconazole visual adverse events; flavin-containing monooxygenase, glutathione transferases and multidrug resistance proteins 1 and 2 in ketoconazole and terbinafine hepatotoxicity; CYP enzymes and P-glycoprotein in drug interactions between azoles and coadministered medications; multidrug resistance proteins 8 and 9 on 5-flucytosine bone marrow toxicity; and mast cell activation in caspofungin histamine release. This will focus on high-priority candidate genes, which could provide a starting point for molecular studies to elucidate the potential mechanisms for understanding toxicity associated with antifungal drugs as well as identifying candidate genes for large population prospective genetic association studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-584
Number of pages24
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antifungal drug
  • Mechanisms of toxicity
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • SNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Defining targets for investigating the pharmacogenomics adverse drug reactions to antifungal agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this