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Common single nucleotide variants underlying drug addiction: more than a decade of research

, : Common single nucleotide variants underlying drug addiction: more than a decade of research. Addiction Biology 20(5): 845-871

Drug-related phenotypes are common complex and highly heritable traits. In the last few years, candidate gene (CGAS) and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a huge number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with drug use, abuse or dependence, mainly related to alcohol or nicotine. Nevertheless, few of these associations have been replicated in independent studies. The aim of this study was to provide a review of the SNPs that have been most significantly associated with alcohol-, nicotine-, cannabis- and cocaine-related phenotypes in humans between the years of 2000 and 2012. To this end, we selected CGAS, GWAS, family-based association and case-only studies published in peer-reviewed international scientific journals (using the PubMed/MEDLINE and Addiction GWAS Resource databases) in which a significant association was reported. A total of 371 studies fit the search criteria. We then filtered SNPs with at least one replication study and performed meta-analysis of the significance of the associations. SNPs in the alcohol metabolizing genes, in the cholinergic gene cluster CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4, and in the DRD2 and ANNK1 genes, are, to date, the most replicated and significant gene variants associated with alcohol- and nicotine-related phenotypes. In the case of cannabis and cocaine, a far fewer number of studies and replications have been reported, indicating either a need for further investigation or that the genetics of cannabis/cocaine addiction are more elusive. This review brings a global state-of-the-art vision of the behavioral genetics of addiction and collaborates on formulation of new hypothesis to guide future work.


PMID: 25603899

DOI: 10.1111/adb.12204

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