Pharmacogenomics of Drugs Used in β-Thalassemia and Sickle-Cell Disease: From Basic Research to Clinical Applications

Roberto Gambari, Aliyu Dahiru Waziri, Hemali Goonasekera, Emmanuel Peprah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this short review we have presented and discussed studies on pharmacogenomics (also termed pharmacogenetics) of the drugs employed in the treatment of β-thalassemia or Sickle-cell disease (SCD). This field of investigation is relevant, since it is expected to help clinicians select the appropriate drug and the correct dosage for each patient. We first discussed the search for DNA polymorphisms associated with a high expression of γ-globin genes and identified this using GWAS studies and CRISPR-based gene editing approaches. We then presented validated DNA polymorphisms associated with a high HbF production (including, but not limited to the HBG2 XmnI polymorphism and those related to the BCL11A, MYB, KLF-1, and LYAR genes). The expression of microRNAs involved in the regulation of γ-globin genes was also presented in the context of pharmacomiRNomics. Then, the pharmacogenomics of validated fetal hemoglobin inducers (hydroxyurea, butyrate and butyrate analogues, thalidomide, and sirolimus), of iron chelators, and of analgesics in the pain management of SCD patients were considered. Finally, we discuss current clinical trials, as well as international research networks focusing on clinical issues related to pharmacogenomics in hematological diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4263
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • DNA polymorphisms
  • microRNAs
  • pharmacogenetics
  • pharmacogenomics
  • Sickle-cell disease
  • β-thalassemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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