Molecular Medicine

, Volume 15, Issue 1–2, pp 21–27 | Cite as

Genome-Wide Association for Nicotine Dependence and Smoking Cessation Success in NIH Research Volunteers

  • Tomas Drgon
  • Ivan Montoya
  • Catherine Johnson
  • Qing-Rong Liu
  • Donna Walther
  • Dean Hamer
  • George R. Uhl
Research Article


Phenotypes related to both nicotine dependence and ability to successfully quit smoking display substantial heritabilities in classical and molecular genetic studies. Twin studies suggest that some genetic components for dependence overlap with genetic components of ability to quit, but that many components do not overlap. Initial genome-wide association (GWA) studies have demonstrated haplotypes that distinguish nicotine-dependent from nondependent smokers. These haplotypes overlap partially with those that distinguish individuals who successfully quit smoking from those who were not able to quit smoking in clinical trials for smoking cessation. We now report novel genome-wide association results from National Institutes of Health research volunteers who reported smoking histories, symptoms of nicotine dependence, and ability to successfully quit smoking outside the context of a clinical trial. These results buttress data from several prior GWA studies. The data from these volunteers support the idea that previously reported studies of genes associated with smoking cessation success in clinical trial participants may also apply to smokers who are more or less able to initiate and sustain abstinence outside of clinical trial settings.



We are grateful for thoughtful advice and discussion from Dr. J Rose and for fruitful collaborations with Drs. Rose, Lerman, Niaura, and David. This research was supported financially by the NIH Intramural Research Programs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Social Services.

Supplementary material

10020_2009_15010021_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (312 kb)
Genome-Wide Association for Nicotine Dependence and Smoking Cessation Success in NIH Research Volunteers


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Copyright information

© The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomas Drgon
    • 1
  • Ivan Montoya
    • 1
    • 2
  • Catherine Johnson
    • 1
  • Qing-Rong Liu
    • 1
  • Donna Walther
    • 1
  • Dean Hamer
    • 3
  • George R. Uhl
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Neurobiology BranchNational Institutes of Health–Intramural Research Program (National Institute on Drug Abuse)BaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug AbuseNational Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of HealthRockvilleUSA
  3. 3.Section on Gene Structure and Regulation, Laboratory of BiochemistryNational Institutes of Health–Intramural Research Program (National Cancer Institute)BethesdaUSA

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