Thus, gene mapping for substance-dependence (SD) traits is complicated. Some risk alleles identified may be important only for FHPI chemical structure specific substances of abuse and others, only for certain populations. So why try to map genes for SD traits? First, SD is a huge cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide; that is, it is a very important problem that deserves to be studied despite its complexity. Second, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical despite all of the a priori reasons to believe that it would be exceedingly difficult to identify genes and validate the findings, the track record for SD genetics as a field is really very good. Below, we will review some recent results that support this claim. Linkage studies Genome-wide linkage studies, the traditional
approach to identifying risk loci, provide chromosomal locations for risk-influencing loci based on the observation of coinheritance of marker alleles and the disease trait
in families. To be comprehensive, linkage studies employ markers that map throughout the entire genome. This approach has been used Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical for cocaine, opioid, and nicotine dependence, and for related traits. We are aware of only one linkage study of cocaine dependence (CD); we studied a sample of small families each with at least one subject affected with CD, which included 528 full and 155 half sibpairs and was 45.5% European-American (EA) and 54.5% AfricanAmerican (AA).15 We completed an autosomal genomewide Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical linkage scan for the CD diagnosis, cocaine-induced paranoia, and cocaine-related subphenotypes derived using cluster analytic methods. Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical The subtyping procedure was used to identify more genetically homogeneous subgroups of subjects in which the effects of individual risk loci might be more prominent. For CD, we found “suggestive” linkage Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical signals on chromosome 10, in the full sample, and on chromosome 3, in the EA part of the sample. Much stronger results were obtained for the cluster-derived subtypes, including genome-widesignificant lod scores for membership in the “Heavy Use, Cocaine Predominant” cluster on chromosome 12 and for membership
in the “Moderate Cocaine and Opioid Abuse” cluster on chromosome 18. In AA families only, we observed a genome -wide-significant lod score on chromosome 9 for the trait of cocaine-induced paranoia. Genome -wide significance was defined on the basis of Lander and Kruglyak’s 1995 criteria.16 There have been three independent genome -wide MycoClean Mycoplasma Removal Kit linkage studies of opioid dependence (OD). We studied 393 small families each with at least one individual affected with OD.17 We completed a genome -wide linkage scan for DSM-IV OD, and, as for the CD study, for clusterdefined phenotypes, a heavy-opioid-use cluster, and a non-opioid-using cluster. The strongest results were, again, seen with the cluster-defined traits: for the “heavy opioid users” cluster there was a genome-widesignificant linkage for EA and AA subjects combined, on chromosome 17.