BACKGROUND - Efavirenz and nelfinavir are metabolized by cytochrome P-450 (CYP) 2B6 and CYP2C19, respectively, with some involvement by CYP3A. Nelfinavir is a substrate for P-glycoprotein, which is encoded by MDR1. The present study examined associations between genetic variants and long-term responses to treatment.
METHODS - Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group study 384 randomized antiretroviral-naive subjects to receive efavirenz and/or nelfinavir plus 2 nucleoside analogues, with follow-up lasting up to 3 years. Population pharmacokinetics were estimated from a nonlinear mixed-effects model. Polymorphisms in CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and MDR1 were characterized.
RESULTS - The 504 participants in the genetic study included 340 efavirenz recipients and 348 nelfinavir recipients (184 of the 504 participants received both efavirenz and nelfinavir). Of the participants, 49% were white, 31% were black, and 19% were Hispanic. Plasma exposure to efavirenz and nelfinavir in each population was significantly associated with the polymorphisms CYP2B6 516G-->T and CYP2C19 681G-->A, respectively. Among efavirenz recipients, the MDR1 position 3435 TT genotype was associated with decreased likelihood of virologic failure and decreased emergence of efavirenz-resistant virus but not with plasma efavirenz exposure. Among nelfinavir recipients, a trend toward decreased virologic failure was associated with the polymorphism CYP2C19 681G-->A.
CONCLUSIONS - Genetic variants predict plasma exposure to efavirenz and nelfinavir, and they may predict virologic failure and/or emergence of drug-resistant virus. These associations with treatment responses must be validated in other studies.