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Sun Y, Chang S, Wang F, Sun H, Ni Z, Yue W, Zhou H, Gelernter J, Malison RT, Kalayasiri R, Wu P, Lu L, Shi J. Genome-wide association study of alcohol dependence in male Han Chinese and cross-ethnic polygenic risk score comparison. Translational psychiatry. 2019 Oct 7; 9(1):249.
Alcohol-related behaviors are moderately heritable and have ethnic-specific characteristics. At present, genetic studies for alcohol dependence (AD) in Chinese populations are underrepresented. We are the first to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for AD using 533 male alcoholics and 2848 controls of Han Chinese ethnicity and replicate our findings in 146 male alcoholics and 200 male controls. We then assessed genetic effects on AD characteristics (drinking volume/age onset/Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST)/Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11)), and compared the polygenic risk of AD in Han Chinese with other populations (Thai, European American and African American). We found and validated two significant loci, one located in 4q23, with lead SNP rs2075633*ADH1B (P? = 6.64?×?10) and functional SNP rs1229984*ADH1B (P? = 3.93?×?10); and the other located in 12q24.12-12q24.13, with lead SNP rs11066001*BRAP (P? = 1.63?×?10) and functional SNP rs671*ALDH2 (P? = 3.44?×?10). ADH1B rs1229984 was associated with MAST, BIS_total score and average drinking volume. Polygenic risk scores from the Thai AD and European American AD GWAS were significantly associated with AD in Han Chinese, which were entirely due to the top two loci, however there was no significant prediction from African Americans. This is the first case-control AD GWAS in Han Chinese. Our findings demonstrate that these variants, which were highly linked with ALDH2 rs671 and ADH1B rs1229984, were significant modulators for AD in our Han Chinese cohort. A larger replication cohort is still needed to validate our findings.