Novel exonic mu-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) polymorphisms not associated with opioid dependence. Academic Article uri icon


  • The mu-opioid receptor (MOR) mediates reward and dependence associated with opioids and other commonly abused substances. Variability in the MOR gene, OPRM1, may influence risk for opioid dependence. In this study, associations between two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), dbSNP rs540825 and dbSNP rs562859, and opioid dependence were investigated. The two SNPs are located in the protein coding region of the novel exon X of an alternative splice variant of OPRM1, and can be detected using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) methods. Genotyping at the two SNPs was performed for 170 severe opioid dependent individuals and 128 carefully screened controls. Although no differences were found between cases and controls, there were significant prevalence differences between African-American (AA) subjects and European-American (EA) subjects for SNP 540825 allele and genotype frequencies. The 540825 and 562859 polymorphisms were found to be in complete linkage disequilibrium (LD) for both ethnic groups, and LD existed between the 562859 SNP and the A(-1320)G SNP in the promoter region of OPRM1 in AAs, based on genotyping data previously carried out on the same subjects. LD between these two markers, separated by 55 kb, links the entire distance studied in this project. The results indicate that polymorphisms in the novel splice variant are not associated with opioid dependence, but are in LD with other polymorphisms in OPRM1.

published proceedings

  • Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, R. J., Doyle, G. A., Han, A. M., Crowley, J. J., Oslin, D. W., Patkar, A. A., ... Berrettini, W. H

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Smith, Rachel J||Doyle, Glenn A||Han, Angela M||Crowley, James J||Oslin, David W||Patkar, Ashwin A||Mannelli, Paolo||Demaria, Peter A||O'brien, Charles P||Berrettini, Wade H

publication date

  • February 2005