Background: The genetic variants of NUDT15 have been verified to induce adverse events (AEs) of thiopurines. Codon 139 variants are frequently observed in Asians, while multiple variants are seen in codon 18 which also cause AEs including the European ancestry. The purpose of this study is to establish a technique capable of the simple genotyping of NUDT15 codon 18 and to evaluate its efficacy. Methods: A high-resolution melt (HRM) technique is performed to simply determine genotypes. The accuracy of HRM analysis was evaluated with DNAs from 1245 Japanese patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Subsequently, another group of 572 patients was analyzed to verify the method. The diplotypes and the frequency of their AEs were estimated on the basis of codon 18 and 139 genotypes. Results: The HRM analysis enabled the correct identification of the three main genotypes, ref/ref, ref/ins, and ref/V18I, in 1236 of 1241 cases. All rare genotypes including ref/del were identified as the impossible-to-determine group, the proper diagnosis rate was 99.6%. In the verification test using other samples, the diagnosis rate was 99.7%. By estimating diplotypes using both codon 18 and 139 genotypes, 2.74% and 2.13% of Japanese patients with Arg/Arg and Arg/Cys of codon 139 have a lower enzymatic activity of NUDT15 and a higher risk for adverse responses than those estimated by codon 139 genotypes alone. Conclusions: Our study showed that HRM method enables simple genotyping of complicated codon 18 variants essential to haplotype estimation of the NUDT15.
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