Diplotype trend regression analysis of the ADH gene cluster and the ALDH2 gene: multiple significant associations with alcohol dependence

Am J Hum Genet. 2006 Jun;78(6):973-87. doi: 10.1086/504113. Epub 2006 Apr 11.


The set of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes has considerable genetic and functional complexity. The relationships between some alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) genes and alcohol dependence (AD) have long been studied in many populations, but not comprehensively. In the present study, we genotyped 16 markers within the ADH gene cluster (including the ADH1A, ADH1B, ADH1C, ADH5, ADH6, and ADH7 genes), 4 markers within the ALDH2 gene, and 38 unlinked ancestry-informative markers in a case-control sample of 801 individuals. Associations between markers and disease were analyzed by a Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) test, a conventional case-control comparison, a structured association analysis, and a novel diplotype trend regression (DTR) analysis. Finally, the disease alleles were fine mapped by a Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium (HWD) measure (J). All markers were found to be in HWE in controls, but some markers showed HWD in cases. Genotypes of many markers were associated with AD. DTR analysis showed that ADH5 genotypes and diplotypes of ADH1A, ADH1B, ADH7, and ALDH2 were associated with AD in European Americans and/or African Americans. The risk-influencing alleles were fine mapped from among the markers studied and were found to coincide with some well-known functional variants. We demonstrated that DTR was more powerful than many other conventional association methods. We also found that several ADH genes and the ALDH2 gene were susceptibility loci for AD, and the associations were best explained by several independent risk genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / genetics*
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial
  • Black or African American / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multigene Family
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States / ethnology
  • White People / genetics


  • Genetic Markers
  • ALDH2 protein, human
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial