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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 748979, 8 pages
Research Article

NCK2 Is Significantly Associated with Opiates Addiction in African-Origin Men

1Department of Biostatistics, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
2Department of Statistical Science, School of Mathematics and Computational Science, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
3Department of Statistics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA

Received 31 December 2012; Accepted 18 January 2013

Academic Editors: J. Ma and B. Shen

Copyright © 2013 Zhifa 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.


Substance dependence is a complex environmental and genetic disorder with significant social and medical concerns. Understanding the etiology of substance dependence is imperative to the development of effective treatment and prevention strategies. To this end, substantial effort has been made to identify genes underlying substance dependence, and in recent years, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have led to discoveries of numerous genetic variants for complex diseases including substance dependence. Most of the GWAS discoveries were only based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and a single dichotomized outcome. By employing both SNP- and gene-based methods of analysis, we identified a strong (odds ratio = 13.87) and significant (P value = ) association of an SNP in the NCK2 gene on chromosome 2 with opiates addiction in African-origin men. Codependence analysis also identified a genome-wide significant association between NCK2 and comorbidity of substance dependence (P value = ) in African-origin men. Furthermore, we observed that the association between the NCK2 gene (P value = ) and opiates addiction reached the gene-based genome-wide significant level. In summary, our findings provided the first evidence for the involvement of NCK2 in the susceptibility to opiates addiction and further revealed the racial and gender specificities of its impact.