Minimal effect of MDR1 and CYP3A5 genetic polymorphisms on the pharmacokinetics of indinavir in HIV-infected patients


Caroline Solas, Fédération de Pharmacologie, Hôpital la Timone, 264 rue Saint-Pierre, 13385 Marseille, France.
Tel.: + 33 4 9138 7565
Fax: + 33 4 9138 7883


What is already known about this subject

• Before this study, few data were available on the potential effect of genetic variants of P-glycoprotein or the CYP3A5 enzyme on the pharmacokinetic variability of protease inhibitors (PI).

• MDR1 C3435T polymorphism was often linked with the pharmacokinetic variability of nelfinavir. CYP3A5*3 polymorphism was linked with the pharmacokinetic variability of calcineurin inhibitors and was therefore strongly suspected of being one of the key factors in the pharmacokinetic variability of other CYP3A susbtrates.

What this study adds

• Our results showed that both MDR1 C3435T and CYP3A5*3 polymorphisms are involved in the pharmacokinetic variability of the absorption or elimination of indinavir, but probably jointly with other factors.

• The potent CYP3A inhibitory effect of ritonavir may hide the variability linked to genetic differences in the CYP3A5 gene, thereby reducing the overall pharmacokinetic variability of the boosted protease inhibitor.

• Genotyping MDR1 and/or CYP3A5 does not appear to be a clinically relevant factor in optimizing protease inhibitor boosted regimens.


The protease inhibitor indinavir is characterized by an important interindividual pharmacokinetic variability, which results from the actions of the metabolizing enzymes cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A and the multidrug efflux pump P-glycoprotein (P-gp), encoded by MDR1. Using a population pharmacokinetic approach, we investigated the effect of several MDR1 and CYP3A5 polymorphisms on the pharmacokinetic parameters of indinavir in HIV-infected patients.


Twenty-eight patients receiving indinavir alone or together with ritonavir were included. Indinavir pharmacokinetics were studied over a 12 h interval. Genetic polymorphisms were assessed by real-time PCR assays and direct sequencing for MDR1 and by PCR-SSCP analysis for CYP3A5.


The pharmacokinetics of indinavir were best described by a one-compartment model with first-order absorption. In the final model, the MDR1 C3435T genotype and ritonavir were identified as statistically significant covariates (P ≤ 0.001) for the absorption rate constant (95% confidence interval on the difference between CC and CT genotype 0.37, 5.53) and for clearance (95% confidence interval on the difference 5.8, 26.2), respectively. Patients with the CYP3A5*3/*3 genotype receiving indinavir alone had a 31% decrease in the indinavir clearance rate compared with patients carrying the CYP3A5*1/*3 genotype.


The MDR1 C3435T genotype affects the absorption constant of indinavir suggesting that P-gp may be implicated in its pharmacokinetic variability. Through its inhibition of CYP3A and P-gp, ritonavir could attenuate the pharmacokinetic variability linked to genetic differences, reducing significantly the interindividual variability of indinavir. However, genotyping MDR1 and/or CYP3A5 to optimize protease inhibitor boosted regimens does not seem clinically relevant.