Classical genetic studies indicate that nicotine dependence is a substantially heritable complex disorder. Genetic vulnerabilities to nicotine dependence largely overlap with genetic vulnerabilities to dependence on other addictive substances. Successful abstinence from nicotine displays substantial heritable components as well. Some of the heritability for the ability to quit smoking appears to overlap with the genetics of nicotine dependence and some does not. We now report genome wide association studies of nicotine dependent individuals who were successful in abstaining from cigarette smoking, nicotine dependent individuals who were not successful in abstaining and ethnically-matched control subjects free from substantial lifetime use of any addictive substance.
These data, and their comparison with data that we have previously obtained from comparisons of four other substance dependent vs control samples support two main ideas: 1) Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) whose allele frequencies distinguish nicotine-dependent from control individuals identify a set of genes that overlaps significantly with the set of genes that contain markers whose allelic frequencies distinguish the four other substance dependent vs control groups (p < 0.018). 2) SNPs whose allelic frequencies distinguish successful vs unsuccessful abstainers cluster in small genomic regions in ways that are highly unlikely to be due to chance (Monte Carlo p < 0.00001).
These clustered SNPs nominate candidate genes for successful abstinence from smoking that are implicated in interesting functions: cell adhesion, enzymes, transcriptional regulators, neurotransmitters and receptors and regulation of DNA, RNA and proteins. As these observations are replicated, they will provide an increasingly-strong basis for understanding mechanisms of successful abstinence, for identifying individuals more or less likely to succeed in smoking cessation efforts and for tailoring therapies so that genotypes can help match smokers with the treatments that are most likely to benefit them.
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"Significant ADHD-SLC9A9 associations in humans were reported from candidate gene studies [Brookes et al., 2006; Markunas et al., 2010] and SLC9A9 achieved one of the lowest P-values in an ADHD genomewide association study (GWAS) ($10 À5 ; [Lasky-Su et al., 2008]). In another GWAS, SLC9A9 was nominally associated with nicotine dependence [Uhl et al., 2007], which is also associated with ADHD [Monuteaux et al., 2007; Biederman et al., 2009]. "
"As for most drug dependence GWAS (except perhaps nicotine dependence) monoamine system genes were conspicuous for their absence. GWAS for nicotine cessation mentioned above examined different nicotine cessation methods: denicotinized cigarettes (Drgon, Johnson et al., 2009), mecamylamine/nicotine replacement (Uhl et al., 2007) and bupropion (Uhl et al., 2008d). Using data from these studies a " quit success " genotype score was developed to assess the cumulative genetic contribution to quit success (Rose et al., 2010). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Substantial genetic contributions to addiction vulnerability are supported by data from twin studies, linkage studies, candidate gene association studies and, more recently, Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). Parallel to this work, animal studies have attempted to identify the genes that may contribute to responses to addictive drugs and addiction liability, initially focusing upon genes for the targets of the major drugs of abuse. These studies identified genes/proteins that affect responses to drugs of abuse; however, this does not necessarily mean that variation in these genes contributes to the genetic component of addiction liability. One of the major problems with initial linkage and candidate gene studies was an a priori focus on the genes thought to be involved in addiction based upon the known contributions of those proteins to drug actions, making the identification of novel genes unlikely. The GWAS approach is systematic and agnostic to such a priori assumptions. From the numerous GWAS now completed several conclusions may be drawn: (1) addiction is highly polygenic; each allelic variant contributing in a small, additive fashion to addiction vulnerability; (2) unexpected, compared to our a priori assumptions, classes of genes are most important in explaining addiction vulnerability; (3) although substantial genetic heterogeneity exists, there is substantial convergence of GWAS signals on particular genes. This review traces the history of this research; from initial transgenic mouse models based upon candidate gene and linkage studies, through the progression of GWAS for addiction and nicotine cessation, to the current human and transgenic mouse studies post-GWAS.
"It is recognized that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and the cAMP/CREB signal pathway are required for mediating the effects of nicotine ,  and that the expression level of nAChRs is regulated by multiple exposures to nicotine , , . High-throughput work indicates that the expression of numerous molecules changes upon nicotine exposure , , ; however, only a few of the identified molecules have been validated. In addition, the overall profile of the gene regulation and the behavioral changes that are induced by nicotine exposure, especially by long-term nicotine exposure, remain unclear. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term tobacco use causes nicotine dependence via the regulation of a wide range of genes and is accompanied by various health problems. Studies in mammalian systems have revealed some key factors involved in the effects of nicotine, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Nevertheless, the signaling pathways that link nicotine-induced molecular and behavioral modifications remain elusive. Utilizing a chronic nicotine administration paradigm, we found that adult male fruit flies exhibited locomotor hyperactivity after three consecutive days of nicotine exposure, while nicotine-naive flies did not. Strikingly, this chronic nicotine-induced locomotor hyperactivity (cNILH) was abolished in Decapping Protein 2 or 1 (Dcp2 or Dcp1) -deficient flies, while only Dcp2-deficient flies exhibited higher basal levels of locomotor activity than controls. These results indicate that Dcp2 plays a critical role in the response to chronic nicotine exposure. Moreover, the messenger RNA (mRNA) level of Dcp2 in the fly head was suppressed by chronic nicotine treatment, and up-regulation of Dcp2 expression in the nervous system blocked cNILH. These results indicate that down-regulation of Dcp2 mediates chronic nicotine-exposure-induced locomotor hyperactivity in Drosophila. The decapping proteins play a major role in mRNA degradation; however, their function in the nervous system has rarely been investigated. Our findings reveal a significant role for the mRNA decapping pathway in developing locomotor hyperactivity in response to chronic nicotine exposure and identify Dcp2 as a potential candidate for future research on nicotine dependence.