Discussion on pharmacogenetic interaction in g6pd deficiency and methods to identify potential hemolytic drugs

Genesia Manganelli, Annalisa Fico, Giuseppe Martini, Stefania Filosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common form of red blood cell enzymopathy. The disorder has reached polymorphic frequencies in different parts of the world due to the relative protection conferred against malaria. G6PD is a housekeeping X-linked gene encoding the first enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway, an NADPH-producing dehydrogenase. Because erythrocytes do not generate NADPH in any other way than pentose phosphate pathway, they are more susceptible than any other cells to oxidative damages. G6PD deficiency is a prime example of a hemolytic anemia due to an interaction between an intracorpuscular cause and an extracorpuscular cause, because in the majority of cases an exogenous agent triggers hemolysis. Hemolysis, in fact, can be caused by exposure to oxidant agents. Although studies performed on epidemiology, genetics and molecular biology have broaden the information on G6pd deficiency, there are still no reliable and validated methods to test drug hemolytic potential in G6PD deficient patients. The review gives an overview of current knowledge on G6pd deficiency and on the methods that have been developed so far in order to identify drugs causing acute hemolytic anemia in G6pd deficiency. Moreover, we discuss the new potential preclinical strategies to assess, in vitro and in vivo, drug hemolytic risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovascular and Hematological Disorders - Drug Targets
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • G6pd deficiency
  • Hemolytic potential
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine(all)

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