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      The possible effect of SCN1A and SCN2A genetic variants on carbamazepine response among Khyber Pakhtunkhwa epileptic patients, Pakistan

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          SCN1A (3184 A> G) and SCN2A (56G> A) gene encodes α subunit of the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channel, which is a target for carbamazepine (CBZ). Recent studies have demonstrated that polymorphism of SCN1A (3184 A> G) and SCN2A (56G> A) was associated with use of CBZ. However, it has not been determined whether the polymorphism affects CBZ or other antiepileptic drug responsiveness. The aim of the study was to establish whether the SCN1A (3184 A> G) and SCN2A (56G> A) polymorphisms of the SCN1A and SCN2A genes affect responsiveness to CBZ.


          SCN1A (3184 A> G) and SCN2A (56G> A) gene polymorphisms were genotyped in 93 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa epileptic patients treated with CBZ. The association between CBZ responsiveness and the polymorphism was estimated by adjusting for clinical factors affecting the outcome of therapy. The number of seizure episodes was documented at baseline, and the therapy of each of the 93 patients was followed up. The plasma level of CBZ was determined using reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. SCN1A and SCN2A genes were genotyped using RFLP. Data were analyzed using Graph Pad Prism 6.


          Mean age of the patients was 18.6±9.3 at the 3rd month and 18.7±9.5 at the 6th month. The baseline dose of CBZ was 468±19.8 mg/d and titrated at the rate of 48±1.4 and 4.0±0.2 mg/d. The difference in plasma level of CBZ was significant ( P=0.004) between 3rd and 6th month among different genotypes of SCN1A gene in nonresponder and responder patients. At the 3rd month of the therapy, the poor responders were more likely ( P=0.003 and P=0.01) to have variants ( 3184AG and 3184GG) of SCN1A gene. Similarly, poor responsders were more likely ( P=0.0007 and P=0.001) to have variant genotypes ( 56GA, 56AA) of SCN2A gene at the 3rd month of the therapy.


          This study demonstrated a significant association between the SCN1A (3184 AG and GG) and SCN2A (56GA and AA) genotype with CBZ-nonresponsive epilepsy.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Structure and function of voltage-gated sodium channels at atomic resolution.

          Voltage-gated sodium channels initiate action potentials in nerve, muscle and other excitable cells. Early physiological studies described sodium selectivity, voltage-dependent activation and fast inactivation, and developed conceptual models for sodium channel function. This review article follows the topics of my 2013 Sharpey-Schafer Prize Lecture and gives an overview of research using a combination of biochemical, molecular biological, physiological and structural biological approaches that have elucidated the structure and function of sodium channels at the atomic level. Structural models for voltage-dependent activation, sodium selectivity and conductance, drug block and both fast and slow inactivation are discussed. A perspective for the future envisions new advances in understanding the structural basis for sodium channel function and the opportunity for structure-based discovery of novel therapeutics.
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            Genetic predictors of the maximum doses patients receive during clinical use of the anti-epileptic drugs carbamazepine and phenytoin.

            Phenytoin and carbamazepine are effective and inexpensive anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). As with many AEDs, a broad range of doses is used, with the final "maintenance" dose normally determined by trial and error. Although many genes could influence response to these medicines, there are obvious candidates. Both drugs target the alpha-subunit of the sodium channel, encoded by the SCN family of genes. Phenytoin is principally metabolized by CYP2C9, and both are probable substrates of the drug transporter P-glycoprotein. We therefore assessed whether variation in these genes associates with the clinical use of carbamazepine and phenytoin in cohorts of 425 and 281 patients, respectively. We report that a known functional polymorphism in CYP2C9 is highly associated with the maximum dose of phenytoin (P = 0.0066). We also show that an intronic polymorphism in the SCN1A gene shows significant association with maximum doses in regular usage of both carbamazepine and phenytoin (P = 0.0051 and P = 0.014, respectively). This polymorphism disrupts the consensus sequence of the 5' splice donor site of a highly conserved alternative exon (5N), and it significantly affects the proportions of the alternative transcripts in individuals with a history of epilepsy. These results provide evidence of a drug target polymorphism associated with the clinical use of AEDs and set the stage for a prospective evaluation of how pharmacogenetic diagnostics can be used to improve dosing decisions in the use of phenytoin and carbamazepine. Although the case made here is compelling, our results cannot be considered definitive or ready for clinical application until they are confirmed by independent replication.
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              Sodium channels, inherited epilepsy, and antiepileptic drugs.

              Voltage-gated sodium channels initiate action potentials in brain neurons, mutations in sodium channels cause inherited forms of epilepsy, and sodium channel blockers-along with other classes of drugs-are used in therapy of epilepsy. A mammalian voltage-gated sodium channel is a complex containing a large, pore-forming α subunit and one or two smaller β subunits. Extensive structure-function studies have revealed many aspects of the molecular basis for sodium channel structure, and X-ray crystallography of ancestral bacterial sodium channels has given insight into their three-dimensional structure. Mutations in sodium channel α and β subunits are responsible for genetic epilepsy syndromes with a wide range of severity, including generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+), Dravet syndrome, and benign familial neonatal-infantile seizures. These seizure syndromes are treated with antiepileptic drugs that offer differing degrees of success. The recent advances in understanding of disease mechanisms and sodium channel structure promise to yield improved therapeutic approaches.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                21 November 2018
                : 14
                : 2305-2313
                [1 ]Institute of Basic Medical Science, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, shakir.ibms@ 123456kmu.edu.pk
                [2 ]Center for Neuroscience, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, Guangdong 515041, People’s Republic of China, shakir.ibms@ 123456kmu.edu.pk
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Shakir Ullah, Institute of Basic Medical Science, Khyber Medical University, Phase V, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, Tel +92 346 985 0144, Email shakir.ibms@ 123456kmu.edu.pk
                © 2018 Nazish et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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