Allele Frequencies of the Preproenkephalin A (PENK) Gene CA Repeat in Asians, African‐Americans, and Caucasians: Lack of Evidence for Different Allele Frequencies in Alcoholics

Rebecca J. Chan, Andrew W. McBride, Holly R. Thomasson, Abi Ykenney, David W. Crabb

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Abstract

Evidence from animal models and from recent reports on the efficacy of the opioid antagonist naltrexone in the treatment of alcoholism suggests that the endogenous opioid systems may play a role in alcohol seeking behavior. The gene encoding preproenkephalin A (PENK) is flanked at its 3' end by a polymorphic (CA)(n) repeat. We determined the allele frequencies for this locus in samples of Chinese and Atayal living in Taiwan, Caucasians living in the United States and Byelorussia, and African-Americans living in the United States. We compared the allele frequencies of nonalcoholics in each population with those of alcoholics with or without alcohol-induced organ pathology. There was no difference in allele frequencies within any racial group when alcoholics with or without organ pathology were compared; there was also no difference in allele frequency between nonalcoholics and alcoholics within the two Asian populations, Caucasians, or African- Americans. There were highly significant differences in the frequency of the various length polymorphisms between the Asian, Caucasian, and African- American samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-535
Number of pages3
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1994

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Keywords

  • Endorphin
  • Enkephalin
  • Gene
  • Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology

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