Association of polymorphisms in RGS4 and expression of RGS transcripts in the brains of human alcoholics
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Chronic alcoholism leads to neurotoxic effects in the central nervous system. Neuroadaptive changes in the brain may lead to tolerance to, and dependence on, alcohol as a result of alterations in synaptic complexity. G-proteins are negatively regulated by RGS proteins, which are integral to many neural pathways that include neurotransmission, hormonal responses, and chemotactic signals. These considerations, together with findings from microarray analyses of human autopsy brain, suggest that proteins involved in G-protein signalling, specifically the RGS protein family, may play an important role in the functioning of neural systems that are affected by chronic alcohol abuse. We used Real Time PCR to measure the expression of twomembers of the RGS family, RGS4 and RGS7, in the superior frontal gyrus and primarymotor cortex fromalcoholic and non-alcoholic cases. Overall, cirrhotic alcoholics had lower expression levels of RGS4 mRNA than controls and non-cirrhotic alcoholics. We also report that the four RGS4 SNPs (SNP1, 4, 7 and 18) may be associated with alcoholism in European Caucasians at the haplotype level. The haplotype T-C-G (SNP1-4-18) may exert a protective effect against alcoholism.
© 2010 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Central Nervous System
Gene Expression (incl. Microarray and other genome-wide approaches)