Alcohol use is a problem that a lot of people are dealing with these days, and this is the reason for which curing addiction has never been more important. Check out the latest discoveries in the field below.
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered alternative gene splicing – this occurs during gene expression, and can impact a person’s risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD). They recently published their findings in Molecular Psychiatry.
“AUD is a common and complex genetic disorder that happens people experience problems related to excessive alcohol consumption.
This discovery has revealed a novel perspective about AUD and opens up new possibilities for finding new therapeutics.” Rudong Li, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the YunLong Liu, PhD Laboratory and lead author of the paper said.
The process of alternative splicing of RNA regulates the transfer of genetic information from DNA to gene expression, and is linked to several intricate illnesses, particularly brain or neurological disorders.
By using a statistical genetics method, the team identified exons on genes that are excluded and could potentially increase the risk of AUD. In their experiments in the laboratory, they discovered 27 instances of exon skipping that have an impact on the likelihood of developing AUD.
According to Yunlong Liu, PhD, director of the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and senior author of the study, it is the first instance where the inclusion of exons on particular genes has been linked to addiction.
The team utilized new computational techniques to investigate the impact of alternative splicing on complex diseases.
They combined transcriptomics data obtained from post-mortem brain tissue with genome-wide association studies (GWAS) data on disease traits to achieve this.
Li suggests future research could focus on novel genes or regions of interest to better understand molecular mechanisms in complex diseases, including AUD and substance use disorders, and potentially develop new therapeutics.
“This discovery could change people’s understanding of AUD and the science behind it,” said Li.
Check out the latest details about this important matter in the original piece.