Genetic approaches to alcohol addiction: gene expression studies and recent candidates from Drosophila
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- Awofala, A.A. Invert Neurosci (2011) 11: 1. doi:10.1007/s10158-010-0113-y
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Ethanol intake causes gene expression changes resulting in cellular and molecular adaptations that could be associated with a predisposition to alcohol dependence. Recently, several research groups have used high-throughput gene expression profiling to search for alcohol-responsive genes in Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of data from these studies highlights the functional similarities in their results despite differences in their experimental approach and selection cases. Notably, alcohol-responsive gene sets associated with stress response, olfaction, metabolism, proteases, transcriptional regulation, regulation of signal transduction, nucleic acid binding and cytoskeletal organisation were markedly common to these studies. These data support the view that changes in gene expression in alcoholics are associated with widespread cellular functions.