Warfarin dose requirements have been associated with 2 main haplotypes in VKORC1, but the responsible polymorphisms remain unknown. To search for regulatory polymorphisms, we measured allelic mRNA expression of VKORC1 in human liver, heart, and B lymphocytes. The observed 2-fold allelic mRNA expression imbalance narrowed possible candidate SNPs to -1639G>A and 1173CA, and the tightly linked intron1 SNP 1173C>T, predict warfarin dose more accurately than intron 2 SNP 1542G>C in blacks. Increased warfarin dose requirement in blacks was accounted for by lower frequency of the -1639 A allele. Therefore, -1639G>A is a suitable biomarker for warfarin dosing across ethnic populations.
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