School of Medical and Health Sciences
Background: Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have been conducted to identify genes and pathways involved in development of opioid use disorder. This study extends the first GWAS of substance use disorder (SUD) patients from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by stratifying the study group based on opioid use, which is the most common substance of use in this cohort. Methods: The GWAS cohort consisted of 512 (262 case, 250 controls) male participants from the UAE. The samples were genotyped using the Illumina Omni5 Exome system. Data was stratified according to opioid use using PLINK. Haplotype analysis was conducted using Haploview 4.2. Results: Two main associations were identified in this study. Firstly, two SNPs on chromosome 7 were associated with opioid use disorder, rs118129027 (p-value = 1.23 × 10 -8) and rs74477937 (p-value = 1.48 × 10 -8). This has been reported in Alblooshi et al. (Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 180(1):68-79, 2019). Secondly, haplotypes on chromosome 2 which mapped to the KIAA1211L locus were identified in association with opioid use. Five SNPs in high linkage disequilibrium (LD) (rs2280142, rs6542837, rs12712037, rs10175560, rs11900524) were arranged into haplotypes. Two haplotypes GAGCG and AGTTA were associated with opioid use disorders (p-value 3.26 × 10-8 and 7.16 × 10-7, respectively). Conclusion: This is the first GWAS to identify candidate genes associated with opioid use disorder in participants from the UAE. The lack of other genetic data of Arabian descent opioid use patients has hindered replication of the findings. Nevertheless, the outcomes implicate new pathways in opioid use disorder that requires further research to assess the role of the identified genes in the development of opioid use disorder.
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