Written in the Genes
- 1.1k Downloads
This chapter discusses molecular biology, with its recent outstanding progresses, and how it has been applied to identify the role of genetic-molecular factors in health and disease . Individual variations, caused by a genetic polymorphism, have been identified in the gene coding for the serotonin transporter , which was soon found to be implied in many conditions such as neuroticism , anxiety , even wellbeing and happiness , and rapidly became the most studied polymorphism in psychiatry . It was found to be associated with depression, particularly together with stressful life events, and with response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants . The Genome-Wide Association Scan was later also performed on wide portions of the genome in large populations. The results obtained so far are disappointing, and only minuscule fractions of the phenomena studied can be explained, with negligible clinical relevance.
- Caspi, A., Hariri, A. R., Holmes, A., Uher, R., & Moffitt, T. E. (2010). Genetic sensitivity to the environment: The case of the serotonin transporter gene and its implications for studying complex diseases and traits. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(5), 509–527.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Caspi, A., Sugden, K., Moffitt, T. E., Taylor, A., Craig, I. W., Harrington, H., McClay, J., Mill, J., Martin, J., Braithwaite, A., & Poulton, R. (2003). Influence of life stress on depression: Moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene. Science, 301(5631), 386–389.Google Scholar
- Furmark, T., Appel, L., Henningsson, S., Åhs, F., Faria, V., Linnman, C., Pissiota, A., Frans, O., Bani, M., Bettica, P., Pich, E. M., Jacobsson, E., Wahlstedt, K., Oreland. L., Långström, B., Eriksson, E., & Fredrikson, M. (2008). A link between serotonin-related gene polymorphisms, amygdala activity, and placebo-induced relief from social anxiety. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28(49), 13066–13074.Google Scholar
- Gonda, X., Fountoulakis, K. N., Juhasz, G., Rihmer, Z., Judit Lazary, J., Laszik, A., Hagop, S., Akiskal, H. S., & Bagdy, G. (2009). Association of the s allele of the 5-HTTLPR with neuroticism-related traits and temperaments in a psychiatrically healthy population. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurological Sciences, 259(2), 106–113.Google Scholar
- Hu, X. Z., Lipsky, R. H., Zhu, G., Akhtar, L. A., Taubman, J., Greenberg, B. D., Xu, K., Arnold, P. D., Richter, M. A., Kennedy, J. L., Murphy, D. L., & Goldman, D. (2006). Serotonin transporter promoter gain-of-function genotypes are linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 78(5), 815–826.Google Scholar
- Kramer, P. D. (2003). Tapping the mood gene. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/26/opinion/tapping-the-mood-gene.html. Accessed 24 Feb 2015.
- Lesch, K. P., Bengel, D., Heils, A., Sabol, S. Z., Greenberg, B. D., Petri, S., Benjamin, J., Müller, C. R., Hamer, D. H., & Murphy, D. L. (1996). Association of anxiety-related traits with a polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene regulatory region. Science, 274(5292), 1527–1531.Google Scholar
- Lewis, G., Mulligan, J., Wiles, N., Cowen, P., Craddock, N., Ikeda, M., Grozeva, D., Mason, V., Nutt, D., Sharp, D., Tallon, D., Thomas, L., O'Donovan, M. C., & Peters, T. J. (2011). Polymorphism of the 5-HT transporter and response to antidepressants: Randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 198(6), 464–471.Google Scholar
- Middeldorp, C. M., de Geus, E. J. C., Beem, A. E., Lakenberg, N., Hottenga, J. J., Slagboom, P. E., & Boomsma, D. I. (2007). Family based association analyses between the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and neuroticism, anxiety and depression. Behavioural Genetics, 37(2), 294–301.Google Scholar
- Munafò, M. R., Durrant, C., Lewis, G., & Flint, J. (2009). Gene × Environment interactions at the serotonin transporter locus. Biological Psychiatry, 65(3), 211–219.Google Scholar
- Risch, N., Herrell, R., Lehner, T., Liang, K. Y., Eaves, L., Hoh, J., Griem, A., Kovacs, M., Ott, J., & Merikangas, K. R. (2009). Interaction between the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), stressful life events, and risk of depression: A meta-analysis. The Journal of American Medical Association, 301(23), 2462–2471.Google Scholar
- Venter, J. C. (2007). A life decoded: My genome: My life. London: Allen Lane Science.Google Scholar
- Venter, J. C., Adams M. D., Myers E. W., Li, P. W., Mural, R. J., Sutton, G. G. et al. (2001). The sequence of the human genome. Science, 16(291 (5507)), 1304–1351.Google Scholar