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Alcoholism and Alternative Splicing of Candidate Genes

Author(s): Toshikazu Sasabe | Shoichi Ishiura

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN 1660-4601

Volume: 7;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1448;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: alcoholism | alternative splicing | dopamine | NMDA | GABA | voltage-gated calcium channel | neurexin

Gene expression studies have shown that expression patterns of several genes have changed during the development of alcoholism. Gene expression is regulated not only at the level of transcription but also through alternative splicing of pre-mRNA. In this review, we discuss some of the evidence suggesting that alternative splicing of candidate genes such as DRD2 (encoding dopamine D2 receptor) may form the basis of the mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of alcoholism. These reports suggest that aberrant expression of splice variants affects alcohol sensitivities, and alcohol consumption also regulates alternative splicing. Thus, investigations of alternative splicing are essential for understanding the molecular events underlying the development of alcoholism.
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