Human alcoholism studies of genes identified through mouse quantitative trait locus analysis.
Coding region DNA sequence variants have been recently identified in several QTL candidate genes in a mouse model of differential sensitivity to alcohol [inbred long-sleep (ILS) and inbred short-sleep (ISS)]. This work has been extended into a human population characterized for their initial level of response to alcohol (LR). The coding region of one of the most promising of these candidate genes, zinc finger 133 (Znf133), has been sequenced completely in 50 individuals who participated in alcohol challenges at approximately age 20 and have been followed subsequently for the last 15 years. PCR products were obtained for the protein coding region of ZNF133 using human genomic DNA and directly sequenced using automated sequencers. Novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected by analyzing the sequence data using a suite of bioinformatics programs including Consed, Phred, Phrap and Polyphred. Five human SNPs were detected, two that correspond to amino acid changes in the protein, two that are silent DNA changes and one located in an intron. In this small sample, no significant association between any of the SNPs and alcohol diagnosis was detected. A follow-up of these SNPs in a larger sample should allow a more definitive conclusion to be reached. Significantly, the data presented here demonstrate the feasibility of directly testing genes in human alcoholic populations that had been identified first by comparative DNA sequencing of candidate genes located within mouse alcohol-related QTLs, even without detailed knowledge of the gene's function.