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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 313709, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/313709
Research Article

A Systematic Analysis of Candidate Genes Associated with Nicotine Addiction

School of Biomedical Engineering, Tianjin Medical University, 22 Qixiangtai Road, Tianjin 300070, China

Received 30 September 2014; Revised 28 December 2014; Accepted 2 January 2015

Academic Editor: Yuedong Yang

Copyright © 2015 Meng Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nicotine, as the major psychoactive component of tobacco, has broad physiological effects within the central nervous system, but our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying its neuronal effects remains incomplete. In this study, we performed a systematic analysis on a set of nicotine addiction-related genes to explore their characteristics at network levels. We found that NAGenes tended to have a more moderate degree and weaker clustering coefficient and to be less central in the network compared to alcohol addiction-related genes or cancer genes. Further, clustering of these genes resulted in six clusters with themes in synaptic transmission, signal transduction, metabolic process, and apoptosis, which provided an intuitional view on the major molecular functions of the genes. Moreover, functional enrichment analysis revealed that neurodevelopment, neurotransmission activity, and metabolism related biological processes were involved in nicotine addiction. In summary, by analyzing the overall characteristics of the nicotine addiction related genes, this study provided valuable information for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying nicotine addiction.