Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: Prodynorphin, the precursor of the dynorphin opioid peptides, has been shown to play an important role in several aspects of human diseases and complex traits, e.g., drug abuse, epilepsy, and mood disorders. The objective of this study was to identify polymorphisms in the 5′ control region of the human prodynorphin gene and to relate these polymorphisms to prodynorphin gene expression. Within the core promoter region, a 68-bp sequence was found to occur as a polymorphic element, either singular or as tandemly repeated element two, three, or four times. This 68-bp repeat element contains an AP-1 transcription factor binding site as demonstrated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Reporter gene assays were performed and provided evidence for allele dependent different promoter activity. Dynorphin was found to be involved in many pathophysiological processes so that the described prodynorphin alleles may correlate with the occurrence of several diseases, for example, drug addiction. However, prodynorphin allelic distributions were not significantly different in heroin addicts and control subjects.
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