Genomic influences on alcohol problems in a population-based sample of young adults

Edwards, Alexis C., Aliev, Fazil, Wolen, Aaron R., Salvatore, Jessica E., Gardner, Charles O., McMahon, George, Evans, David M., Macleod, John, Hickman, Matthew, Dick, Danielle M. and Kendler, Kenneth S. (2015) Genomic influences on alcohol problems in a population-based sample of young adults. Addiction, 110 3: 461-470. doi:10.1111/add.12822

Author Edwards, Alexis C.
Aliev, Fazil
Wolen, Aaron R.
Salvatore, Jessica E.
Gardner, Charles O.
McMahon, George
Evans, David M.
Macleod, John
Hickman, Matthew
Dick, Danielle M.
Kendler, Kenneth S.
Title Genomic influences on alcohol problems in a population-based sample of young adults
Journal name Addiction   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1360-0443
Publication date 2015-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/add.12822
Volume 110
Issue 3
Start page 461
End page 470
Total pages 10
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aims: Alcohol problems (AP) contribute substantially to the global disease burden. Twin and family studies suggest that AP are genetically influenced, although few studies have identified variants or genes that are robustly associated with risk. This study identifies genetic and genomic influences on AP during young adulthood, which is often when drinking habits are established.

Design: We conducted a genome-wide association study of AP. We further conducted gene-based tests, gene ontology analyses and functional genomic enrichment analyses to assess genomic factors beyond single variants that are relevant to AP.

Setting: The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a large population-based study of a UK birth cohort. Participants: Genetic and phenotypical data were available for 4304 participants.

Measurements: The AP phenotype was a factor score derived from items from the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, symptoms of DSM-IV alcohol dependence, and three additional problem-related items.

Findings: One variant met genome-wide significance criteria. Four out of 22880 genes subjected to gene-based analyses survived a stringent significance threshold (q<0.05); none of these have been implicated previously in alcohol-related phenotypes. Several biologically plausible gene ontologies were statistically over-represented among implicated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs on the Illumina 550K SNP chip accounted for ~5% of the phenotypical variance in AP.

Conclusions: Genetic and genomic factors appear to play a role in alcohol problems in young adults. Genes involved in nervous system-related processes, such as signal transduction and neurogenesis, potentially contribute to liability to alcohol problems, as do genes expressed in non-brain tissues.
Keyword Alcohol problems
Epigentic enrichment
Gene-based test
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
UQ Diamantina Institute Publications
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