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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Exome-Wide Association Study of Replicable Nonsynonymous Variants Conferring Risk for Alcohol Dependence

In the present study, we scanned the whole exome in three independent samples to search for replicable risk nonsynonymous (ns) variants (ns single-nucleotide polymorphisms [nsSNPs]) for alcohol dependence.

A total of 10,554 subjects in three independent samples were analyzed for association with alcohol dependence, including one European American sample (1,409 cases with alcohol dependence and 1,518 controls), one African American sample (681 cases and 508 controls), and one European Australian sample (a total of 6,438 family subjects with 1,645 alcohol-dependent probands). RNA expression of the risk genes in human, mouse, and rat brains was also explored.

We identified a total of 70 nsSNPs at 65 genes with nominally replicable associations; 22 nsSNPs at 21 genes among them survived corrections for multiple testing in meta-analysis (α = .0007). By incorporating the information from bioinformatics and RNA expression analyses, we identified at least two of the most promising risk genes for alcohol dependence: APOER2 and UBAP2.

The gene coding for apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (APOER2) and the gene coding for ubiquitin-associated protein-2 (UBAP2) are among the most appropriate for follow-up in human and nonhuman species as contributors to risk for alcohol dependence.

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