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Genetic interaction between two VNTRs in the MAOA gene is associated with the nicotine dependence

Kõks, G., Prans, E., Ho, X.D., Duy, B.H., Tran, H.D.T., Ngo, N.B.T., Hoang, L.N.N., Tran, H.MT, Bubb, V.J., Quinn, J.P. and Kõks, S. (2020) Genetic interaction between two VNTRs in the MAOA gene is associated with the nicotine dependence. Experimental Biology and Medicine . Art. 153537022091688.

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Nicotine dependence is an addiction to tobacco products and a global public health concern that in part would be influenced by our genetics. Smokers are reported to have reduced MAOA activity, but the results from genetic associations with this gene have been inconclusive. Two functionally relevant variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) domains, termed uVNTR and dVNTR, in the MAOA gene are well characterized transcriptional regulatory elements. In the present study, we analyzed uVNTR and dVNTR polymorphisms in the MAOA gene in the Vietnamese male population of smokers and non-smokers in order to assess the association of MAOA with the nicotine dependence measured by the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND). Individual analysis of VNTRs separately identified uVNTR to be associated with the F6 question of the FTND indicating the stronger addiction to nicotine. No associations were found between the dVNTR and smoking behavior. The combination of dVNTR and uVNTR, that predicts low expression of MAOA (10–3 haplotypes), was significantly associated with the higher nicotine dependence (FTND score), longer smoking duration, and more persistent smoking behavior (fewer quit attempts). In conclusion, our study confirms that low MAOA expression is genetically predictive to the higher nicotine dependence.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics (CMMIT)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © 2020 by The Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
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