Role of inosine triphosphate pyrophosphatase gene variant on fever incidence during zidovudine antiretroviral therapy

A. V.C. Coelho, S. P.S. Silva, L. Zandonà, G. Stocco, G. Decorti, S. Crovella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zidovudine, the antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV infection, commonly causes adverse effects, such as systemic fever and gastrointestinal alterations. In the present study, the potential role of inosine triphosphate pyrophosphatase (ITPA) gene variant on the incidence of adverse events during antiretroviral therapy (ART) of HIV with zidovudine was discussed. Individuals from Northeastern Brazil (N = 204) receiving treatment for HIV-1 infection were recruited. Zidovudine-related adverse effects developed during the treatment were registered. The rs1127354 polymorphism in the ITPA gene was genotyped using real-time PCR to assess whether this single nucleotide polymorphism was associated with the occurrence of zidovudine-related adverse effects. We observed a significant association between the ITPA variant genotype and the reported systemic fever (odds ratio = 7.17, 95% confidence interval = 1.19-43.15; P = 0.032). Zidovudine use could indirectly lead to an increase in the levels of inosine monophosphate in an antimetabolite-like manner, which is converted to inosine triphosphate (ITP). The rs1127354 variant caused a decrease in ITPA activity, thereby leading to ITP accumulation. This in turn resulted in cytotoxicity, which was manifested by neutropenia and fever. Therefore, we hypothesized a pharmacogenetic model involving the ITPA variant genotype in multifactorial components that act together to determine the onset of zidovudine-related adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergmr16019373
JournalGenetics and Molecular Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 23 2017


  • Adverse effect
  • Antiretroviral
  • AZT
  • ITPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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