Allelic variation in the human prodynorphin gene promoter and schizophrenia

M. Ventriglia, L. Bocchio Chiavetto, C. Bonvicini, G. B. Tura, S. Bignotti, G. Racagni, Massimo Gennarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experimental and clinical studies suggest an involvement of the opioid neuropeptide system in schizophrenia. In particular, the prodynorphin (PDYN), the precursor of the dynorphin opioid peptides, has been shown to play an important role in several aspects of human mental diseases. Recently, a functional polymorphism in the promoter of PDYN gene has been described. We studied the possible relationship between this polymorphism and schizophrenia and we found no significant difference in allelic and genotype distributions between schizophrenic patients and control subjects. However, we observed a significant interactive effect with the receptor 3 of dopamine gene (DRD3); in particular, the frequency of subjects carrying PDYN allele 3 being also homozygotes for DRD3 Gly allele (of Ser9Gly polymorphism) was significantly greater in patients than controls. We conclude that PDYN gene polymorphism alone does not alter the risk for schizophrenia but, by an epistatic interaction with the Gly allele of DRD3 gene, may contribute to the susceptibility to this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • DRD3
  • Gene promoter
  • Polymorphism
  • Prodynorphin
  • Schizophrenia
  • Tandem repeat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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