Catechol O-methyltransferase pharmacogenomics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor response

Y. Ji, J. Biernacka, K. Snyder, M. Drews, L. L. Pelleymounter, C. Colby, L. Wang, D. A. Mrazek, R. M. Weinshilboum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We applied a systematic pharmacogenetic approach to investigate the role of genetic variation in the gene encoding catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) in individual variation in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) response among depressed patients. In all, 23 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in COMT were genotyped using DNA from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR D) study (N1914). One SNP, rs13306278, located in the distal promoter region of COMT, showed significant association with remission in White non-Hispanic (WNH) subjects (P0.038). Electromobility shift assay for rs13306278 showed alternation in the ability of the variant sequence to bind nuclear proteins. A replication study was performed using samples from the Mayo Clinic Pharmacogenetics Research Network Citalopram/Escitalopram Pharmacogenomic study (N422) that demonstrated a similar trend for association. Our findings suggest that novel genetic markers in the COMT distal promoter may influence SSRI response phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacogenomics Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • COMT
  • STAR*D
  • catechol O-methyltransferase
  • major depressive disorder
  • pharmacogenetics
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology


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