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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 414-415
 

Detection of complete Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase deficiency in a Tunisian family using a simple phenotypic test


1 Metabolic Biophysics and Applied Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine of Sousse, Tunisia
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Farhat Hached University Teaching Hospital, Sousse, Tunisia

Date of Web Publication15-Jul-2013

Correspondence Address:
Arij Mani
Metabolic Biophysics and Applied Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine of Sousse
Tunisia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.115010

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How to cite this article:
Mani A, Nouira M, Ahmed SB, Saguem S. Detection of complete Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase deficiency in a Tunisian family using a simple phenotypic test. Indian J Pharmacol 2013;45:414-5

How to cite this URL:
Mani A, Nouira M, Ahmed SB, Saguem S. Detection of complete Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase deficiency in a Tunisian family using a simple phenotypic test. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Oct 18];45:414-5. Available from: http://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2013/45/4/414/115010


Sir,

Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) is the first rate-limiting enzyme in the catabolic pathway of the anticancer agent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) but also of the endogenous uracil (U) and thymine (TH). Administration of standard doses of 5-FU to cancer patients with a partial or complete deficiency of DPD activity has been associated with severe and sometimes life-threatening toxicities. Thus, screening for DPD deficiency could be very useful, to prevent severe and fatal toxicities in cancer patients treated with 5-FU.

In our previous study, a cancer patient was diagnosed to have profound DPD deficiency. [1] The phenotypic profile showed undetectable plasmatic 5,6 dihydrouracil (UH2) and a high accumulation of plasmatic U. [1] In the present study, we propose a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-based method as a phenotypic test used for the pre-therapeutic assessment of complete DPD deficiency in newly diagnosed cancer patients. Five healthy family members of a previously diagnosed cancer patient were investigated in order to establish a DPD-deficient phenotypic profile as an index of complete DPD deficiency. The results showed the same chromatographic profile as the one observed in the patient, with no detectable UH2 [Figure 1]a and a very high accumulation of plasmatic U (between 2307 and 3210 ng / mL versus 50 to 90 ng / mL in controls [2] ), found in three subjects. Two other family members showed a normal chromatographic profile [Figure 1]b. These findings suggested that a chromatographic profile with undetectable UH2 and very high-level of plasmatic U could be used as a predictive marker of a complete DPD deficiency phenotype. In this light, Johnson et al., reported a profound DPD deficiency case with absent DPD activity and a particularly elevated plasmatic U levels. [3] The result obtained by Johnson et al., was completely consistent with our findings. Moreover, another study showed that the Uracil / dihydrouracil plasmatic ratio could be used as a phenotypic test for the assessment of DPD deficiency, [4] which was also in agreement with our findings.
Figure 1: (a) chromatogram obtained from the plasma extract of the patient's mother :undetectable UH2 was observed and a very high accumulation of U was detected suggesting that the subject was profoundly DPD deficient (direct ultraviolet detection at 205 nm) (b) chromatogram obtained from the plasma extract of the patient's father. The two metabolites were detected (direct ultraviolet detection at 205 nm). The UH2 peak was higher than the U peak suggesting a normal UH2/U plasmatic ratio

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The molecular analysis performed on the patient's DPD gene (DPYD) revealed the absence of known pathogenic mutations. [1] Therefore, we looked for some mutations that could be responsible for the deleterious effects on the DPD activity in the studied subjects, but none of these mutations was found. This data demonstrated that the absence of known mutations in some cancer patients and the great number of mutations involved in DPD deficiency could be a limitation for the molecular approaches used as tools to screen for DPD deficiency in cancer patients. The simple and rapid phenotypic approach described in this report could be a reliable method to pre-screen DPD deficiency in cancer patients.


  Acknowledgments Top


We thank all the staff of the Biophysics Department for their cooperation. We also thank Slim Fellah for his help in the manuscript review.

The Ethical Committee of the Farhat Hached University Teaching Hospital in Sousse approved the study

 
  References Top

1.Ben Fredj R, Gross E, Ben Ahmed S, Hassine H, Saguem S. The dihydrouracil / uracil ratio in plasma, clinical and genetic analysis for screening of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency in colorectal cancer patients treated with 5-fluorouracil. Pathol Biol (Paris) 2009;57:470-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]    
2.Diasio RB, Beavers TL, Carpenter JT. Familial deficiency of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase. Biochemical basis for familial pyrimidinemia and severe 5-fluorouracil-induced toxicity. J Clin Invest 1988;81:47-51.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.Johnson MR, Wang K, Diasio RB. Profound dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency resulting from a novel compound heterozygote genotype. Clin Cancer Res 2002;8:768-74.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.van Staveren HG, Vankuilenburg AB, Maring J. Uracil pharmacokinetics in a DPD-deficient patient with a novel DPYD mutation compared to volunteers with normal DPD activity. J Clin Oncol 2010;28:15.  Back to cited text no. 4
    


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