Keyword Tag Sort by


Categories: Addiction Gene Addiction Genes Alcoholism Addictive behaviors Drug abuse Chromosome 11 PKNOX2

‘Addiction Gene’ Identified by Yale Researchers in Women of European Origin

New Haven, Conn. — Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have identified a gene associated with multiple cases of alcoholism, drug abuse and other addictive behaviors in white women of European origin. The research appears in this week’s Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research used data collected in genome-wide studies and found a strong and significant association between a gene located on chromosome 11—known as PKNOX2—and multiple dependencies among white women involving nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, opiates and other drugs. The women with this gene were almost twice as likely as white men, black women or black men to have two or more of the addictions.

While genes on other chromosomes have previously been associated with alcoholism and drug abuse in prior studies, this is believed to be the first time that PKNOX2 has been linked to addiction in humans, said Heping Zhang, Ph.D., professor in the division of Biostatistics at the Yale School of Public Health and the paper’s senior author. The gene identified by the researchers had previously been associated with addictive behavior in mice.

“This information can be used to design preventive and/or treatment strategies for addiction by controlling the environment exposure in the targeted group and/or by exploring and developing medications that modify the expression of the gene,” Zhang said. “Findings such as ours have the potential of great clinical significance, but this is a beginning instead of the end, because understanding addiction is very complex and challenging. The people who are likely to be affected most are those who are addicted to one substance, and they can be genotyped for a risk gene in order to prevent elevated risk of multiple dependences.”

Different ethnic groups have very different underlying genetics for many complex diseases, Zhang said. Previous research has found racial differences in the prevalence of substance abuse.

Zhang’s research team included Xiang Chen and Kelly Cho of the Yale School of Public Health and Burton H. Singer of Princeton University.

Contacts: Michael Greenwood 203-737-5151, Helen Dodson 203-436-3984

Source: Yale University

Related News:

Genetic mutations warn of skin cancer risk 1 April 2014, 05:59
New high-risk cancer causing mutation identified for melanoma developmentResearchers have...

Why Does Smallpox Vaccine Shield Some, Not Others? It's in the... 22 April 2013, 08:07
ROCHESTER, Minn. — How well people are protected by the smallpox vaccine depends on more than...

Video game addiction needs standard definition 19 April 2013, 03:20
Researchers at the University of Adelaide say treatment for people affected by video game...

Parkin protects from neuronal cell death 4 March 2013, 03:25
LMU researchers identify a novel signal transduction pathway, which activates the parkin gene...

Two new genes linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and... 4 March 2013, 03:18
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ties mutations in two genes to the death of motor...

Bowel cancers reshuffle their genetic pack to cheat treatment 27 February 2013, 03:30
Bowel cancer cells missing one of three genes can rapidly reshuffle their genetic ‘pack of...

Study reveals molecular networks of mental health disorders 27 February 2013, 03:26
Early diagnosis and intervention for ADHD, autism and schizophrenia could be made possible after...

Gene switch important in cancer discovered 2 November 2012, 03:10
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Helsinki in Finland have...

Duke Blue Light Controls Gene Expression 1 October 2012, 13:36
New approach could greatly improve ability of researchers and physicians to control gene...

Comprehensive genomic analysis sheds new light on subtypes of... 24 September 2012, 10:23
HOUSTON -- (September 24, 2012) -- Comprehensive genomic analysis of breast tumors revealed four...