home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

COMT and cannabis interact to increase risk of psychosis

  April, 10 2005 16:51
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, but there is increasing evidence that its use during adolescence may increase the risk of developing psychosis later in life. Not all cannabis smokers develop psychotic symptoms, however, and it has been postulated that certain individuals may be genetically vulnerable to its effects.

Polymorphisms in several genes have been linked with schizophrenia. Given the likely role of dopaminergic dysfunction in the pathogenesis of psychosis, it is no surprise that most genetic investigations have focussed on variants in genes involved in dopamine neurotransmission. One such gene, COMT, is located on chromosome 22q11, a region highlighted in several genome scans of schizophrenia. COMT encodes catechol-O-methyltransferase, an enzyme involved in the metabolism of dopamine in the synapse. The COMT gene contains a common missense mutation that causes a valine to methionine substitution at codon 158, producing a less active enzyme. Genetic association studies suggest that the valine allele may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, but as with cannabis smoking not all valine carriers become schizophrenic.

A study by Avshalom Caspi and colleagues at the Institute of Psychiatry in London provides evidence for a gene-environment interaction between COMT genotype and cannabis smoking. Their research, to be published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, investigated the COMT gene and adolescent cannabis smoking in a large longitudinal birth cohort study from Dunedin, New Zealand. Their data suggests that the COMT gene interacts with adolescent-onset cannabis use to predict the emergence of psychosis later in life. They found that carriers of the COMT valine allele were at an increased risk of psychotic symptoms in adulthood if they used cannabis as an adolescent.

Link to Biological Psychiatry

Message posted by: Jonathan Mill

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2023 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.