GABRR1 and GABRR2, encoding the GABA-A receptor subunits rho1 and rho2, are associated with alcohol dependence.
ABSTRACT: The genes encoding several GABA-A receptor subunits, including GABRA2, have been associated with alcoholism, suggesting that variations in gaba signaling contribute to risk. Therefore, as part of a comprehensive evaluation of the GABA receptor genes, we evaluated the potential association of GABRR1 and GABRR2, which encode the rho1 and rho2 subunits of the pentameric GABA-A/GABA-C receptors. GABRR1 and GABRR2 lie in a head to tail orientation spanning 137 kb on chromosome 6q14-16. We genotyped 73 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), covering both genes and extending 31 kb upstream of GABRR2 and 95 kb downstream of GABRR1, in a sample of 1923 European Americans from 219 multiplex alcohol-dependent families. Family-based association analyses demonstrated that SNPs in both GABRR1 and GABRR2 were significantly associated with alcohol dependence. Among the associated SNPs was rs282129, a coding SNP (Met430Thr) in GABRR2. Secondary analysis using a median split for age of onset suggests that the association is strongest when the analysis is focused upon those with earlier onset of alcohol dependence. Haplotypes in each gene were significantly overtransmitted to family members who did not meet criteria for alcohol dependence (P < 0.04), and a haplotype in GABRR2 was significantly overtransmitted to family members who met a broader definition of alcoholism (P = 0.002) as well as DSM-IV dependence (P = 0.04).
Project description:Alcoholism is a complex disease with both genetic and environmental risk factors. To identify genes that affect the risk for alcoholism, we systematically ascertained and carefully assessed individuals in families with multiple alcoholics. Linkage and association analyses suggested that a region of chromosome 4p contained genes affecting a quantitative endophenotype, brain oscillations in the beta frequency range (13-28 Hz), and the risk for alcoholism. To identify the individual genes that affect these phenotypes, we performed linkage disequilibrium analyses of 69 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) within a cluster of four GABA(A) receptor genes, GABRG1, GABRA2, GABRA4, and GABRB1, at the center of the linked region. GABA(A) receptors mediate important effects of alcohol and also modulate beta frequencies. Thirty-one SNPs in GABRA2, but only 1 of the 20 SNPs in the flanking genes, showed significant association with alcoholism. Twenty-five of the GABRA2 SNPs, but only one of the SNPs in the flanking genes, were associated with the brain oscillations in the beta frequency. The region of strongest association with alcohol dependence extended from intron 3 past the 3' end of GABRA2; all 43 of the consecutive three-SNP haplotypes in this region of GABRA2 were highly significant. A three-SNP haplotype was associated with alcoholism, with P=.000000022. No coding differences were found between the high-risk and low-risk haplotypes, suggesting that the effect is mediated through gene regulation. The very strong association of GABRA2 with both alcohol dependence and the beta frequency of the electroencephalogram, combined with biological evidence for a role of this gene in both phenotypes, suggest that GABRA2 might influence susceptibility to alcohol dependence by modulating the level of neural excitation.
Project description:Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Approximately 14% of those who use alcohol meet criteria during their lifetime for alcohol dependence, which is characterized by tolerance, withdrawal, inability to stop drinking, and continued drinking despite serious psychological or physiological problems. We explored genetic influences on alcohol dependence among 1,897 European-American and African-American subjects with alcohol dependence compared with 1,932 unrelated, alcohol-exposed, nondependent controls. Constitutional DNA of each subject was genotyped using the Illumina 1M beadchip. Fifteen SNPs yielded P < 10(-5), but in two independent replication series, no SNP passed a replication threshold of P < 0.05. Candidate gene GABRA2, which encodes the GABA receptor alpha2 subunit, was evaluated independently. Five SNPs at GABRA2 yielded nominal (uncorrected) P < 0.05, with odds ratios between 1.11 and 1.16. Further dissection of the alcoholism phenotype, to disentangle the influence of comorbid substance-use disorders, will be a next step in identifying genetic variants associated with alcohol dependence.
Project description:Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the most common inherited retinal dystrophy, with extensive allelic and nonallelic genetic heterogeneity. Autosomal recessive RP (arRP) is the most common form of RP worldwide, with at least nine loci known and accountable for approximately 10%-15% of all cases. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory transmitter in the CNS. Different GABA receptors are expressed in all retinal layers, and inhibition mediated by GABA receptors in the human retina could be related to RP. We have selected chromosomal regions containing genes that encode the different subunits of the GABA receptors, for homozygosity mapping in inbred families affected by arRP. We identify a new locus for arRP, on chromosome 6, between markers D6S257 and D6S1644. Our data suggest that 10%-20% of Spanish families affected by typical arRP could have linkage to this new locus. This region contains subunits GABRR1 and GABRR2 of the GABA-C receptor, which is the effector of lateral inhibition at the retina.
Project description:Background: The Gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABA-A receptor) is affected by ethanol concentrations equivalent to those reached during social drinking. At these concentrations, ethanol usually causes impairment in reaction and motor times in most, but not all, individuals. Objectives: To study the effect of GABA-A receptor variability in motor and reaction times, and the effect of low ethanol doses. Methods: Two hundred and fifty healthy subjects received one single dose of 0.5 g/Kg ethanol per os. Reaction and motor times were determined before ethanol challenge (basal), and when participants reached peak ethanol concentrations. We analyzed all common missense polymorphisms described in the 19 genes coding for the GABA-A receptor subunits by using TaqMan probes. Results: The GABRA6 rs4454083 T/C polymorphisms were related to motor times, with individuals carrying the C/C genotype having faster motor times, both, at basal and at peak ethanol concentrations. The GABRA4 rs2229940 T/T genotype was associated to faster reaction times and with lower ethanol effects, determined as the difference between basal reaction time and reaction time at peak concentrations. All these associations remained significant after correction for multiple comparisons. No significant associations were observed for the common missense SNPs GABRB3 rs12910925, GABRG2 rs211035, GABRE rs1139916, GABRP rs1063310, GABRQ rs3810651, GABRR1 rs12200969 or rs1186902, GABRR2 rs282129, and GABRR3 rs832032. Conclusions: This study provides novel information supporting a role of missense GABA-A receptor polymorphisms in reaction time, motor time and effects of low ethanol doses in vivo.
Project description:BACKGROUND:While twin and adoption studies point to substantial genetic influence upon alcohol use, dependence, and other alcohol-related phenotypes, few of the genes underlying variation in these phenotypes have been identified. Markers in genes related to GABAergic activity-a system integral to many of alcohol's biological effects-have been implicated in alcohol use and alcohol-related psychopathology in linkage and association studies. METHODS:Using multiple methods, we conducted a comprehensive examination of the effects of markers in ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system genes in a community-based sample of 7,224 individuals assessed in early and middle adulthood. In addition to testing the effect of individual single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers on alcohol-related phenotypes, we computed a polygenic score reflecting the aggregated effects of multiple GABA system SNPs. We also estimated the variance in alcohol-related phenotypes attributable to all GABA system markers considered simultaneously and conducted gene-based association tests. RESULTS:No method produced results indicative of an effect of GABA system variants on measures of alcohol use or misuse. CONCLUSIONS:These results reflect alcohol-related behaviors in a population-representative sample, many of whom are still in adolescence, and in which the incidence of heavy drinking and alcohol-related symptomatology are relatively low. Contrasted with existing studies of the association between alcohol use and GABA system genes, our results suggest that the relationship may be limited to particular contexts, such as when accompanied by polysubstance abuse or a familial history of alcoholism.
Project description:Autism is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with a significant genetic component. Existing research suggests that multiple genes contribute to autism and that epigenetic effects or gene-gene interactions are likely contributors to autism risk. However, these effects have not yet been identified. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, has been implicated in autism etiology. Fourteen known autosomal GABA receptor subunit genes were studied to look for the genes associated with autism and their possible interactions. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were screened in the following genes: GABRG1, GABRA2, GABRA4, and GABRB1 on chromosome 4p12; GABRB2, GABRA6, GABRA1, GABRG2, and GABRP on 5q34-q35.1; GABRR1 and GABRR2 on 6q15; and GABRA5, GABRB3, and GABRG3 on 15q12. Intronic and/or silent mutation SNPs within each gene were analyzed in 470 white families with autism. Initially, SNPs were used in a family-based study for allelic association analysis--with the pedigree disequilibrium test and the family-based association test--and for genotypic and haplotypic association analysis--with the genotype-pedigree disequilibrium test (geno-PDT), the association in the presence of linkage (APL) test, and the haplotype family-based association test. Next, with the use of five refined independent marker sets, extended multifactor-dimensionality reduction (EMDR) analysis was employed to identify the models with locus joint effects, and interaction was further verified by conditional logistic regression. Significant allelic association was found for markers RS1912960 (in GABRA4; P = .01) and HCV9866022 (in GABRR2; P = .04). The geno-PDT found significant genotypic association for HCV8262334 (in GABRA2), RS1912960 and RS2280073 (in GABRA4), and RS2617503 and RS12187676 (in GABRB2). Consistent with the allelic and genotypic association results, EMDR confirmed the main effect at RS1912960 (in GABRA4). EMDR also identified a significant two-locus gene-gene effect model involving RS1912960 in GABRA4 and RS2351299 in GABRB1. Further support for this two-locus model came from both the multilocus geno-PDT and the APL test, which indicated a common genotype and haplotype combination positively associated with disease. Finally, these results were also consistent with the results from the conditional logistic regression, which confirmed the interaction between GABRA4 and GABRB1 (odds ratio = 2.9 for interaction term; P = .002). Through the convergence of all analyses, we conclude that GABRA4 is involved in the etiology of autism and potentially increases autism risk through interaction with GABRB1. These results support the hypothesis that GABA receptor subunit genes are involved in autism, most likely via complex gene-gene interactions.
Project description:Researchers are using various strategies to identify the genes that may be associated with alcoholism. The initial efforts primarily relied on candidate gene and linkage studies; more recently, however, modern advances in genotyping have resulted in widespread use of genome-wide association studies for alcohol dependence. The key findings of the earlier studies were that variations (i.e., polymorphisms) in the DNA sequences of the genes encoding alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (i.e., the ADH1B gene), aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (i.e., the ALDH2 gene), and other alcohol-metabolizing enzymes mediate the risk for alcoholism; moreover, these polymorphisms also have an impact on the risk of alcohol-related cancers, such as esophageal cancer. In addition, a gene encoding one of the receptors for the neurotransmitter ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) known as GABRA2 seems to have a role in the development of alcohol dependence. Genome-wide association studies now offer a host of emerging opportunities, as well as challenges, for discovering the genetic etiology of alcohol dependence and for unveiling new treatment strategies.
Project description:Alcoholism (alcohol dependence) is characterized by a compulsion to seek and ingest alcohol (ethanol), loss of control over intake, and the emergence of a negative emotional state during withdrawal. Animal models are critical in promoting our knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying alcohol dependence. Here, we review the studies involving operant alcohol self-administration in rat models of alcohol dependence and withdrawal with the focus on the alcohol vapor model. In 1996, the first articles were published reporting that rats made dependent on alcohol by exposure to alcohol vapors displayed increased operant alcohol self-administration during acute withdrawal compared with nondependent rats (i.e., not exposed to alcohol vapors). Since then, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that this model reliably produces physical and motivational symptoms of alcohol dependence. The functional roles of various systems implicated in stress and reward, including opioids, dopamine, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), glucocorticoids, neuropeptide Y (NPY), ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA), norepinephrine, and cannabinoids, have been investigated in the context of alcohol dependence. The combination of models of alcohol withdrawal and dependence with operant self-administration constitutes an excellent tool to investigate the neurobiology of alcoholism. In fact, this work has helped lay the groundwork for several ongoing clinical trials for alcohol dependence. Advantages and limitations of this model are discussed, with an emphasis on what future directions of great importance could be.
Project description:Alcohol dependence is a worldwide public health problem, and involves both environmental and genetic vulnerability factors. The heritability of alcohol dependence is rather high, ranging between 50% and 60%, although alcohol dependence is a polygenic, complex disorder.Genome-wide scans on large cohorts of multiplex families, including the collaborative study on genetics of alcoholism (COGA), emphasized the role of many chromosome regions and some candidate genes. The genes encoding the alcohol-metabolizing enzymes, or those involved in brain reward pathways, have been involved. Since dopamine is the main neurotransmitter in the reward circuit, genes involved in the dopaminergic pathway represent candidates of interest. Furthermore, gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter mediates the acute actions of alcohol and is involved in withdrawal symptomatology. Numerous studies showed an association between variants within GABA receptors genes and the risk of alcohol dependence.In accordance with the complexity of the "alcohol dependence" phenotype, another field of research, related to the concept of endophenotypes, received more recent attention. The role of vulnerability genes in alcohol dependence is therefore re-assessed focusing on different phenotypes and endophenotypes. The latter include brain oscillations, EEG alpha and beta variants and alpha power, and amplitude of P300 amplitude elicited from a visual oddball task.Recent enhancement on global characterizations of the genome by high-throughput approach for genotyping of polymorphisms and studies of transcriptomics and proteomics in alcohol dependence is also reviewed.
Project description:GABRR1 is a rho subunit receptor of GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain. While most investigations of its function focused on the nervous system, its regulatory role in hematopoiesis has not been reported. In this study, we found GABRR1 is mainly expressed on subsets of human and mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and megakaryocyte progenitors (MkPs). GABRR1-negative (GR-) HSCs led to higher donor-derived hematopoietic chimerism than GABRR1-positive (GR+) HSCs. GR+ but not GR- HSCs and MkPs respond to GABA in patch clamp studies. Inhibition of GABRR1 via genetic knockout or antagonists inhibited MkP differentiation and reduced platelet numbers in blood. Overexpression of GABRR1 or treatment with agonists significantly promoted MkP generation and megakaryocyte colonies. Thus, this study identifies a link between the neural and hematopoietic systems and opens up the possibility of manipulating GABA signaling for platelet-required clinical applications.