Mercaptopurine intolerance is an adverse effect of mercaptopurine administration in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). NUDT15 variants have emerged as major determinants of mercaptopurine intolerance, especially in the Asian population. Two variants, c.55_56insGAGTCG in exon 1 and c.415C > T in exon 3, were commonly detected in the same allele, named NUDT15*1/*2. Although rare, compound heterozygous mutations also occur, with the two variants on different alleles (NUDT15*3/*6), which may confer tolerance to considerably lesser mercaptopurine dosage. Sanger sequencing or pyrosequencing can determine the NUDT15 variants but not the phase. Here, we designed an allele-specific PCR (AS-PCR) with locked nucleic acid-modified primers. A cohort of 63 patients harboring heterozygous c.55_56insGAGTCG and c.415C > T NUDT15 variations was selected for haplotyping using AS-PCR. Of the 63 patients, 60 harbored the NUDT15*1/*2 variant and three harbored compound heterozygous mutations, including two NUDT15*3/*6 and one NUDT15*2/*7 variants. These findings suggest that AS-PCR can determine NUDT15 diplotype and identify patients with compound heterozygous NUDT15 variants, which may enable precise genetic diagnosis of NUDT15. Nevertheless, a larger clinical trial is required to understand the clinical significance of NUDT15*3/*6 in pediatric patients with ALL because of its low incidence rate and challenges in detecting this variant.
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