Polymorphisms in folate, pyrimidine, and purine metabolism are associated with efficacy and toxicity of methotrexate in psoriasis

Emanuela Campalani, Monica Arenas, Anthony M. Marinaki, Cathryn M. Lewis, Jonathan N.W.N. Barker, Catherine H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Methotrexate is the gold standard therapy for moderate to severe psoriasis, but there is marked interpersonal variation in its efficacy and toxicity. We hypothesized that in psoriasis patients, specific common polymorphisms in folate, pyrimidine, and purine metabolic enzymes are associated with methotrexate efficacy and/or toxicity. DNA from 203 retrospectively recruited psoriasis patients treated with methotrexate was collected and genotyped by restriction endonuclease digestion or length polymorphism assays. The reduced folate carrier (RFC) 80A allele and the thymidylate synthase (TS) 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) 6 bp deletion were associated with methotrexate-induced toxicity (P=0.025 and P=0.025, respectively). RFC 80A and 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide transformylase (ATIC) 347G were associated with methotrexate discontinuation (P=0.048 and P=0.038). The TS 5′-UTR 28 bp 3R polymorphism correlated with poor clinical outcome (P=0.029), however, this was not the case when patients with palmoplantar pustular psoriasis were not included in the analysis. Stronger associations between specific polymorphisms and methotrexate-induced toxicity and discontinuation were found in a subanalysis of patients on methotrexate not receiving folic acid supplementation. We have demonstrated preliminary evidence that specific polymorphisms of enzymes involved in folate, pyrimidine, and purine metabolism could be useful in predicting clinical response to methotrexate in patients with psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1860-1867
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


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