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Glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 null genotype distribution in South Indians

  • Pharmacogenetics
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To investigate the distribution of the homozygous null genotypes of GSTM1 and GSTT1 in the South Indian population.


Five hundred and seventeen unrelated natives of the South Indian states of Tamilnadu and Pondicherry (n=170), Kerala (n=122), Karnataka (n=110) and Andhra Pradesh (n=115) were analyzed for homozygous deletions of GSTM1 and GSTT1. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction method simultaneously detected both GSTM1 and GSTT1 homozygous null genotypes. The observed frequencies from the four groups were compared statistically with each other and the combined frequencies were compared with frequencies of other major populations previously reported in the literature.


In South India, 30.4% (95% CI 26.4–34.3) lacked the GSTM1 gene, 16.8% (13.6–20.1) lacked the GSTT1 gene and 4.6% (3.0–6.8) lacked both the GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes. The highest frequency of GSTM1 null was observed in Karnataka (36.4%, 27.4–45.4), while Andhra Pradesh had the lowest frequency of the GSTM1 and GSTT1 combined double-null genotypes (1.7%, 0.21–6.2).


The prevalence of the GSTM1 null genotype differed within India. The frequency of GSTM1 null in South Indians was significantly lower than that in Caucasians. The frequencies of both GSTM1 and GSTT1 null genotypes in South Indians were significantly lower than in the Japanese.

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The research project is funded by Indian Council of Medical research, New Delhi, India, and INSERM, Paris, France (ICMR ref. no. 50/6/2000-BMS dated 11/12/2001). We thank Mr. Sajan Jose, Kottayam for his help in sample collection of Kerala population. Technical assistance provided by Mr. R. Balakrishnan, Mr. S. Rajan and Mrs. S. Mala is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to C. Adithan.

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Naveen, A.T., Adithan, C., Padmaja, N. et al. Glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 null genotype distribution in South Indians. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 60, 403–406 (2004).

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