Image: Courtesy of Stephen B. Liggett
 UN-BALANCING ACT: The figure depicts linkage disequilibrium between ß2-AR SNPS. Genotypes from Caucasians were determined at 13 loci and the degree of linkage disequilibrium between SNPs was calculated. The site at -406 was monomorphic in the Caucasian sample.

The promise of pharmacogenetics will not be realized easily. To date, most studies have focused on individual SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), or perhaps a few, but none have considered the potentially complex interactions between SNPs on the same gene. That one-at-a-time approach could cause researchers to miss important clues, says Stephen B. Liggett, professor of medicine and molecular genetics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Liggett and his team published results in this Hot Paper showing that multiple SNPs on a single gene can cause functional changes.1

Liggett says he was puzzled by studies such as one involving the a2-adrenergic...

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