The alternatively spliced 8-amino-acid exon for the GABA(A) receptor γ2 subunit gene (GABRC2) has been postulated to mediate behavioral actions of alcohol. A rapid search for splice-junction mutations near the 8-amino-acid exon using restriction enzymes which normally recognize sequences near or in the exon gave negative results among 217 alcoholics in four aboriginal groups (Ami, Atayal, Bunun and Paiwan) and Han Chinese in Taiwan. The role of the GABRC2 gene in alcoholism was further assessed by a comparison of allelic frequencies revealed by a NciI RFLP between case and control groups. No significant association of alcohol dependence with GABRC2 alleles was observed. These results suggest that the GABRC2 gene probably does not play an essential role in predisposition to alcoholism in the sample population.
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