Scientific study provides evidence of the association between FURIN and OUD for the first time

Genome-wide association study in individuals of European and African ancestry and multi-trait analysis of opioid use disorder identifies 19 independent genome-wide significant risk loci.

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is one of the biggest public health threats of this era with nearly 50,000 people dying (mostly preventable) from Opioid involved overdoses only in the US in 2019.


It has an estimated economic burden of $78.5 billion a year including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement alone in the U.S. Although it has been well known for a long time that the OUDs are influenced by heritable genetic factors, there is still no clear understanding on genetic loci contributing for OUD. A new study identified the genomic risk factors for the development of OUD and its underlying biology for the first time. Scientists conducted a large genetic study [MTAG (Multi-trait analysis of GWAS)] of OUD among individuals of European (EUR) and African (AFR) ancestry with an overall sample size of 639,063 and provided evidence of the association between FURIN and OUD for the first time.


The meta-analysis successfully identified OUD variant associations at OPRM1, single variant associations with FURIN (Furin, Paired Basic Amino Acid Cleaving Enzyme), and 18 genome-wide significant (GWS) associations in the OUD-MTAG.


Such findings will advance our scientific understanding of OUD risk and would yield better management options.


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