Introduction to Deep Sequencing and Its Application to Drug Addiction Research with a Focus on Rare Variants
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- Wang, S., Yang, Z., Ma, J.Z. et al. Mol Neurobiol (2014) 49: 601. doi:10.1007/s12035-013-8541-4
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Through linkage analysis, candidate gene approach, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS), many genetic susceptibility factors for substance dependence have been discovered such as the alcohol dehydrogenase gene (ALDH2) for alcohol dependence (AD) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit variants on chromosomes 8 and 15 for nicotine dependence (ND). However, these confirmed genetic factors contribute only a small portion of the heritability responsible for each addiction. Among many potential factors, rare variants in those identified and unidentified susceptibility genes are supposed to contribute greatly to the missing heritability. Several studies focusing on rare variants have been conducted by taking advantage of next-generation sequencing technologies, which revealed that some rare variants of nAChR subunits are associated with ND in both genetic and functional studies. However, these studies investigated variants for only a small number of genes and need to be expanded to broad regions/genes in a larger population. This review presents an update on recently developed methods for rare-variant identification and association analysis and on studies focused on rare-variant discovery and function related to addictions.