The endogenous opioid system has been shown to have a role in the biological processes involved in addiction to numerous drugs of abuse including cocaine. It has recently been reported that the variable nucleotide tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism in the 5′ promoter region of the prodynorphin gene, which encodes the precursor for three endogenous opioid peptides, is associated with the cocaine dependent phenotype. In order to confirm this finding, we genotyped the prodynorphin promoter polymorphism in cocaine dependent (n = 167) and control (n = 88) individuals off African descent. The results from this experiment indicate a statistically significant (χ2 = 5.64, OR = 1.59, P = 0.018) association between the prodynorphin promoter VNTR polymorphism and the cocaine dependent phenotype. In contrast to previous work showing increased risk conferred by one or two copies of the prodynorphin VNTR, the genotyping results from this study indicate that persons with three or four copies of this polymorphism are more likely to become cocaine dependent. This disparity suggests that the prodynorphin promoter VNTR may not be the functional polymorphism associating with the cocaine dependent phenotype. It is possible that different alleles off the prodynorphin promoter VNTR in the independent populations used for this and the previous study may be in linkage disequilibrium with a yet to be identified functional polymorphism in this gene.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||American Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics|
|State||Published - Nov 5 2005|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience