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Title: Tryptophan hydroxylase gene variant and smoking behavior.
Authors: Lerman C,  Caporaso NE,  Bush A,  Zheng YL,  Audrain J,  Main D,  Shields PG
Journal: Am J Med Genet
Date: 2001 Aug 8
Branches: GEB
PubMed ID: 11496367
PMC ID: not available
Abstract: Approximately 50% of the variance in smoking behavior is attributable to genetic factors. Genes in the serotonin system are plausible candidates because of serotonin's role in mood regulation. The present study examined the association of smoking behavior with a polymorphism in the TPH gene, which codes for a rate limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin. A polymorphism in intron 7 has been linked with a variety of traits involving poor impulse control. Participants in this study were 249 Caucasian smokers and 202 nonsmokers recruited through newspaper advertisements. Smokers completed smoking history and nicotine dependence assessments. The overall frequencies of the A- and C-allele were 42% and 58%, respectively. There was no association of TPH alleles with smoking status. However, case series analysis indicated that individuals with the A/A genotype started smoking at age 15.6 years, compared with 17.3 years among smokers with other genotypes. This association was significant in a multivariate regression model controlling for age, education, body mass index (BMI), alcohol use, and medication use. This finding is consistent with previous studies relating the A-allele to impulsive behavior and suggests that it may predispose to early smoking initiation. Future family-based studies are needed to confirm this finding. Published 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.