Dissecting the effect of genetic variation on the hepatic expression of drug disposition genes across the collaborative cross mouse strains

Aharon Nachshon, Hanifa J.Abu Toamih Atamni, Yael Steuerman, Roa'a Sheikh-Hamed, Alexandra Dorman, Richard Mott, Juliane C. Dohm, Hans Lehrach, Marc Sultan, Ron Shamir, Sascha Sauer, Heinz Himmelbauer, Fuad A. Iraqi*, Irit Gat-Viks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A central challenge in pharmaceutical research is to investigate genetic variation in response to drugs. The Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse reference population is a promising model for pharmacogenomic studies because of its large amount of genetic variation, genetic reproducibility, and dense recombination sites. While the CC lines are phenotypically diverse, their genetic diversity in drug disposition processes, such as detoxification reactions, is still largely uncharacterized. Here we systematically measured RNA-sequencing expression profiles from livers of 29 CC lines under baseline conditions. We then leveraged a reference collection of metabolic biotransformation pathways to map potential relations between drugs and their underlying expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs). By applying this approach on proximal eQTLs, including eQTLs acting on the overall expression of genes and on the expression of particular transcript isoforms, we were able to construct the organization of hepatic eQTL-drug connectivity across the CC population. The analysis revealed a substantial impact of genetic variation acting on drug biotransformation, allowed mapping of potential joint genetic effects in the context of individual drugs, and demonstrated crosstalk between drug metabolism and lipid metabolism. Our findings provide a resource for investigating drug disposition in the CC strains, and offer a new paradigm for integrating biotransformation reactions to corresponding variations in DNA sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number172
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Issue numberOCT
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2016


  • Collaborative cross mouse strains
  • EQTLs analysis
  • Genetic variation
  • Hepatic drug disposition
  • Transcript isoforms


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