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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 May 25;422(1):91-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.04.112. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Polymorphisms in the glutamate decarboxylase 1 gene associated with heroin dependence.

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Department of Forensic Science, School of Medicine, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shannxi, PR China.


The GAD1 gene encodes the 67-kDa glutamic acid decarboxylase isoform (GAD67), the rate-limiting enzyme responsible for γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) biosynthesis from glutamic acid, and may be involved in the development of drug dependence. To identify markers contributing to the genetic susceptibility to heroin dependence, this study examined the potential association between heroin dependence and 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, rs1978340, rs3762556, rs3791878, rs3749034, rs11542313, rs2241165, rs2241164, rs769407, rs3749033, rs16858977, rs701492, rs16858988, rs4668331, rs7578661, rs769395) of GAD1 gene using the MassARRAY system. Participants included 370 heroin-dependent subjects and 389 healthy controls. The allelic or genotypic frequencies of the rs1978340 (promoter region), rs3791878 (promoter region), and rs11542313 (exon 3) polymorphisms in heroin addicts were significantly different from those in healthy controls. Strong linkage disequilibrium was observed in two blocks (D'>0.9). Significantly more C-C-C-C-A haplotypes (p=0.0053 after Bonferroni correction) and significantly fewer T-C-A-C-A haplotypes (p=0.0003 after Bonferroni correction) were found in heroin dependent subjects. These findings point to a role for GAD1 polymorphism in heroin dependence among Han Chinese, and may be informative for future genetic or neurobiological studies on heroin dependence.

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