UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Functional validation of UGT1A6 in anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity Morrison, Alexander


The pursuit of precision medicine can be achieved via pharmacogenetic testing prior to treatment onset thanks to the genomic revolution. It has allowed for large-scale genetic testing to be done relatively inexpensively resulting in specific genetic variants to be linked with a phenotype or disease of interest. While beneficial, there remains a burden of proof before translation of knowledge from bench to bedside in order to provide the best possible healthcare. In this study, novel in vitro methods were used with the goal of functionally exploring the role of UGT1A6 in relation to a patient’s risk of the adverse drug reaction (ADR) known as anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. More specifically, the variant in UGT1A6 known as rs17863783 has been previously shown, along with other genetic and clinical risk factors, to put a patient at increased risk for cardiotoxicity following anthracycline treatment onset. HEK293 cells were used to create stably transfected expression systems of various haplotypes of UGT1A6. These cells were validated to be expressing the correct genotype via PCR and Sanger Sequencing and subsequently treated with the anthracycline known as doxorubicin (DOX) for viability investigation. Transiently transfected HEK293 cells were also used to express UGT1A6 haplotypes of interest for an investigation of cell viability in addition to UGT1A6 enzyme activity via a 4MU general glucuronidation assay. Despite inherent limitations of in vitro analysis, we conclude that UGT1A6 1) plays a role in anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity 2) the various haplotypes, such as rs17863783, alter functionality providing additional evidence to support prospective pharmacogenomic testing of patients along with serving as a knowledge base for future research and 3) not all model systems effectively model in vivo phenomena. This thesis will detail the methods and results obtained over the course of investigation into the role of UGT1A6 and anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity.

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