Navigation Links
DNA (driver of nicotine addiction)
Date:1/29/2008

Cigarette smoking is the largest preventable source of death and disability in the USA, contributing to ~ 400,000 deaths annually. Despite widespread knowledge of the health dangers, ~ 1 in 8 American adults is a habitual heavy smoker.

For several decades, scientists have known that most of the risk for habitual heavy smoking (smoking a pack each day) is largely influenced by genetics. This conclusion comes from the study of identical and fraternal twins from Scandinavia, North America, Australia and (more recently) China. It has been estimated that ~ 2/3 of the risk to become a heavy habitual smoker is genetic. This does not imply that this genetic risk is due to a single gene. It is known that many genes are involved, each one contributing a small amount of risk.

Finding the individual genes is a considerable challenge, but worth the effort, because it is hoped that the genes conveying risk for heavy smoking could be used to develop new medicines to help people quit. The development of new medicines to help people quit is particularly important, because the existing medications, including nicotine replacement (the patch or gum), bupropion and varenicline are effective in the short-term (several months) for a minority of heavy smokers.

This paper describes the results of a genetic study of 14,000 people, from the USA and Europe, whose smoking histories were known. DNA samples from ~ 6000 people were analyzed at ~ 500,000 known variations in the human genome to determine whether any of these variations predicted cigarettes per day during the period of heaviest smoking for these individuals. The results implicated variations in two genes, both producing brain proteins to which nicotine binds in generating its addicting effects. These two proteins (are their genes) are termed the alpha 3 and alpha 5 nicotinic receptor subunits, so-called because they form (with other nicotinic receptor subunits) binding sites for nicotine on certain brain cells which are known to be activated during the process of addiction.

A second population of ~ 8000 people (whose smoking histories were known) was analyzed in a similar manner, the result again suggesting that variations in these two genes increased risk for heavy smoking. Taken together, these two studies provide convincing proof that variations in the alpha 3 and alpha 5 nicotinic receptor subunit genes play a significant role in risk for nicotine addiction. A previously published paper, using similar methods, also supports this conclusion.

These results suggest two important research activities. First, and foremost, the alpha 3 and alpha 5 nicotinic receptor subunits will be made targets for new smoking cessation medication development programs by pharmaceutical companies. Second, the implicated DNA variants can be used to determine whether they predict ability to quit using the one of the currently available smoking cessation medicines. This personalized medicine approach might allow for more efficient and productive use of those medicines, until improved ones can be created.


'/>"/>

Contact: Wade Berrettini
wadeb@mail.med.upenn.edu
484-432-5836
Molecular Psychiatry
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. AUDIO from Medialink and Commit Lozenge: Wanna Quit Smoking With Therapeutic Nicotine? Just Follow the Directions
2. Nicotine in breast milk disrupts infants sleep patterns
3. Nicotine in Breast Milk Shortens Babys Naptime
4. Initial reaction to nicotine can dictate addiction
5. Rat Study Gets at Root of Nicotine Addiction
6. Nicotine, Chili Peppers Offer Post-Surgery Pain Relief
7. Parkinsons Institute research shows that nicotine reduces levodopa-induced dyskinesias
8. Genes, brain chemistry may dictate nicotine cravings, says CU-Boulder study
9. Nicotine Plus Alcohol May Be Tough to Beat
10. Nicotine addiction slashed in test of new cigarette smoking strategy
11. Nicotine-Reduced Cigarettes Could Boost Quitting
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... Today, Illuma ... plan partners, announced during the 2017 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition ... for diabetic patients and integrating eye care into mainstream healthcare delivery is powered ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... The Citadel’s new Swain Department ... being led by Amelia Joseph, Ph.D. Joseph was engaged by the college as a ... department in early 2016. After a nation-wide search, she was selected to head the ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... ProBrand Glitch is a set of 30 glitch distortion logo reveals ... easily reveal any logo with a glitch reveal in just a few clicks of a ... and animation of each preset. Use these presets to add a uniquely animated logo to ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... Orbita, ... join forces with Healthwise ® at HIMSS 2017 to showcase ... in evidence-based health education, technology and services, will demonstrate a voice-powered knowedge assistant ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Focused start-ups, not traditional health ... according to the recent NEJM Catalyst Insights Report on the New Marketplace. ... Insights Council, a qualified group of U.S. executives, clinical leaders, and clinicians at ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... 20, 2017  Today from HIMSS17, Ambra Health ... suite, announced the launch of  Ambra for Developers ... Built around modern, RESTful web-services, this is the first ... With these new APIs, IT departments at health ... data into other applications such as population health or ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... and Trends - Product (RFID refrigerators and RFID freezers), Application (Diagnostic ... to their offering. ... The Global RFID Blood Refrigerator and Freezer Market is poised ... 2025. This industry report analyzes the global markets ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... PUNE, India , February 20, 2017 According ... Formulation (Type (Solution, Suspension, Dry powder), Device Type (Metered dose, Dry Powder, ... to 2021" published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is projected to reach USD ... CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period. ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: