The enzyme NUDT15

The enzyme NUDT15 (full name: nudixhydrolase 15) plays a role in breaking down drugs from the thiopurine group. The enzyme NUDT15 is involved in the metabolisation of, amongst other things, the anti-tumour drugs mercaptopurine and thioguanine, as well as immunosuppressants like azathioprine. These drugs are used in the treatment of cancer and Crohn’s disease, in the event of organ transplants and to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation of the bowel, liver or skin, for example.

Azathioprine and the enzyme NUDT15

Azathioprine is processed to a large extent by the enzyme NUDT15 and TPMT. The activity of this enzyme can vary considerably depending on your genetic predisposition, which means the efficacy of azathioprine can also differ from person to person.

Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with azathioprine.

Read more about Azathioprine »

Mercaptopurine and the enzyme NUDT15

Mercaptopurine is processed to a large extent by the enzyme NUDT15 and TPMT. The activity of this enzyme can vary considerably depending on your genetic predisposition, which means the efficacy of mercaptopurine can also differ from person to person.

Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with mercaptopurine.

Read more about Mercaptopurine »

Thioguanine and the enzyme NUDT15

Thioguanine is processed to a large extent by the enzymes NUDT15 and TPMT. The activity of these enzymes can vary considerably depending on your genetic predisposition, which means the efficacy of thioguanine can also differ from person to person.

Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with thioguanine.

Read more about Tioguanine »

Genetic predisposition
The activity of the enzyme NUDT15 varies from one individual to another. This variation can be partly explained by genetic variations. In people with NUDT15 deficiency (reduced activity) drugs from the thiopurine group can build up in the body and cause side effects. Reduced activity of the enzyme NUDT15 is found in roughly 20-25% of the Asian population; the enzyme is completely inactive in around 1% of Asians. Mutations are much rarer in Europeans, around 1.5% of whom exhibit reduced activity.
When a genotype is determined variations in the NUDT15 gene are indicated by two so-called alleles. Each allele has a name consisting of an asterisk (*) and a number. An example of a possible NUDT15 genotype is NUDT15*1/*3.
At iGene we determine the following variants (alleles) of the NUDT15 gene: NUDT15*3, NUDT15*4, NUDT15*5 and other (classified as NUDT15*1).