Pharmacogenetics of beta2 adrenergic receptor agonists in asthma management


  • V. E. Ortega

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
    • Corresponding author: Victor E. Ortega, MD, Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, 27157 NC, USA.

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  • The author has declared no conflicting interests.


Beta22) adrenergic receptor agonists (beta agonists) are a commonly prescribed treatment for asthma despite the small increase in risk for life-threatening adverse responses associated with long-acting beta agonist (LABA). The concern for life-threatening adverse effects associated with LABA and the inter-individual variability of therapeutic responsiveness to LABA-containing combination therapies provide the rationale for pharmacogenetic studies of beta agonists. These studies primarily evaluated genes within the β2-adrenergic receptor and related pathways; however, recent genome-wide studies have identified novel loci for beta agonist response. Recent studies have identified a role for rare genetic variants in determining beta agonist response and, potentially, the risk for rare, adverse responses to LABA. Before genomics research can be applied to the development of genetic profiles for personalized medicine, it will be necessary to continue adapting to the analysis of an increasing volume of genetic data in larger cohorts with a combination of analytical methods and in vitro studies.