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Pancreatology. 2015 Jul;15(4 Suppl):S23-31. doi: 10.1016/j.pan.2015.05.476. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Genetic susceptibility factors for alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis.

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Department of Medicine A, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
Department of Medicine A, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany. Electronic address:


Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive inflammatory disease of the pancreas and frequently associated with immoderate alcohol consumption. Since only a small proportion of alcoholics eventually develop chronic pancreatitis genetic susceptibility factors have long been suspected to contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease. Smaller studies in ethnically defined populations have found that not only polymorphism in proteins involved in the metabolism of ethanol, such as Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, can confer a risk for developing chronic pancreatitis but also mutations that had previously been reported in association with idiopathic pancreatitis, such as SPINK1 mutations. In a much broader approach employing genome wide search strategies the NAPS study found that polymorphisms in the Trypsin locus (PRSS1 rs10273639), and the Claudin 2 locus (CLDN2-RIPPLY1-MORC4 locus rs7057398 and rs12688220) confer an increased risk of developing alcohol-induced pancreatitis. These results from North America have now been confirmed by a European consortium. In another genome wide approach polymorphisms in the genes encoding Fucosyltransferase 2 (FUT2) non-secretor status and blood group B were not only found in association with higher serum lipase levels in healthy volunteers but also to more than double the risk for developing alcohol-associated chronic pancreatitis. These novel genetic associations will allow to investigate the pathophysiological and biochemical basis of alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis on a cellular level and in much more detail than previously possible.


ABO blood type; Alcohol-metabolizing enzymes; CFTR; FUT2; PRSS1; SPINK1

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