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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57199. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057199. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Possible association between suicide committed under influence of ethanol and a variant in the AUTS2 gene.

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Department of Medical Genetics, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.



rs6943555 in AUTS2 has been shown to modulate ethanol consumption. We hypothesized that rs6943555 might be associated with completed suicide.


We genotyped rs6943555 in 625 completed suicides and 3861 controls using real-time TaqMan Allelic Discrimination Assay. All individuals were Polish Caucasians.


We detected an association between suicide and rs6943555 A allele (OR = 1.17, P = 0.018 for allelic comparison, OR = 1.24, P = 0.013 for dominant, and OR = 1.18, P = 0.020 for co-dominant model of inheritance). The association remained significant after adjusting for age and gender (co-dominant: P = 0.002 and dominant model: P = 0.001). After stratifying suicides according to blood ethanol concentration (BAC≤ 20 mg/dl and BAC > 20 mg/dl) the association remained significant only for cases who committed suicide under influence of alcohol (co-dominant: OR  =  1.37, P = 0.004 and dominant model: OR = 1.45, P = 0.006). To validate this finding we genotyped another cohort of 132 cases. We reproduced the association between rs6943555 A allele and suicide under influence of ethanol (allelic comparison: OR = 1.55, P = 0.023; co-dominant : OR = 1.54, P = 0.031; dominant model: OR = 1.84, P = 0.015). Analyzing pooled suicides with BAC >20 mg/dl (N = 300) we found the association of rs6943555 A allele not only vs. controls (allelic OR = 1.41, P = 0.00029) but also vs. cases with BAC ≤ 20 mg/dl (N = 449, allelic OR = 1.33, P = 0.019).


In our study rs6943555 A allele is associated with suicide committed after drinking ethanol shortly before death. The rs6943555 A allele may be linked to adverse emotional reaction to ethanol, which could explain the association with lower consumption in general population as well as the predisposition to suicide under influence of ethanol.

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