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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008 Mar;33(4):837-48. Epub 2007 May 16.

Markers in the 5'-region of GABRG1 associate to alcohol dependence and are in linkage disequilibrium with markers in the adjacent GABRA2 gene.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Alcohol Research Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030-1410, USA.


Following an initial report, there have been multiple replications of an association of alcohol dependence (AD) to markers within a haplotype block that includes the 3'-half of the gene encoding the GABA(A) alpha-2 subunit (GABRA2), on chromosome 4p. We examined the intergenic extent of this haplotype block and the association to AD of markers in the adjacent 5' haplotype block in GABRG1, which encodes the GABA(A) receptor gamma-1 subunit. We genotyped 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms in the GABRG1-GABRA2 interval as well as at 34 ancestry informative markers in three samples: 435 AD and 635 screened control subjects from Connecticut and 812 participants from a multicenter AD treatment trial. We observed two large haplotype blocks in the GABRG1-GABRA2 intergenic interval with a region of increased recombination midway between the two genes. Markers in the two haplotype blocks were in moderate linkage disequilibrium. Compared with markers in the GABRA2 haplotype block, markers in the 5' GABRG1 haplotype showed greater allelic, genotypic and haplotypic association with AD in European Americans from both AD samples. Logistic regression analysis indicated that genetic elements in the GABRG1 haplotype block likely contribute to AD risk in an additive manner, whereas those in the GABRA2 haplotype block may act in a dominant manner in relation to risk of AD.

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