Genetic polymorphism in metabolism and host defense enzymes: Implications for human health risk assessment
Genetic polymorphisms in xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes can have profound influence on enzyme function, with implications for chemical clearance and internal dose. The effects of polymorphisms have been evaluated for certain therapeutic drugs but there has been relatively little investigation with environmental toxicants. Polymorphisms can also affect the function of host defense mechanisms and thus modify the pharmacodynamic response. This review and analysis explores the feasibility of using polymorphism data in human health risk assessment for four enzymes, two involved in conjugation (uridine diphosphoglucuronosyltransferases [UGTs], sulfotransferases [SULTs]), and two involved in detoxification (microsomal epoxide hydrolase [EPHX1], NADPH quinone oxidoreductase I [NQO1]). This set of evaluations complements our previous analyses with oxidative and conjugating enzymes. Of the numerous UGT and SULT enzymes, the greatest likelihood for polymorphism effect on conjugation function are for SULT1A1 (*2 polymorphism), UGT1A1 (*6, *7, *28 polymorphisms), UGT1A7 (*3 polymorphism), UGT2B15 (*2 polymorphism), and UGT2B17 (null polymorphism). The null polymorphism in NQO1 has the potential to impair host defense. These highlighted polymorphisms are of sufficient frequency to be prioritized for consideration in chemical risk assessments. In contrast, SNPs in EPHX1 are not sufficiently influential or defined for inclusion in risk models. The current analysis is an important first step in bringing the highlighted polymorphisms into a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling framework.