Association of variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) and T941G polymorphism of monoamine oxidase (MAO-A) gene with aggression in Pakistani subjects

  • Sumbal Sarwar
  • Shabana
  • Shahida Hasnain
Keywords: Aggression; MAO-A gene; VNTRs; T941G; rs6323; Pakistan.


Background: Human behavioral traits are known to be significantly heritable. Certain individuals have a greater tendency of negative behavioral aspects including aggression. The quest to identify tunderlying genetic causes has led to identification of a number of genetic markers, one of them is the monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) gene.

Objective: We aimed to genotype a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) in the promoter region and a functional SNP within this gene (T941G, dbSNP ID: rs6323) in the recruited cohort of 482 subjects.

Methods: After DNA isolation, genotyping was done by PCR-RFLP and the results were confirmed by sequencing.

Results: For VNTRs, the results showed, highest frequency of 3.5 repeats in males and 4 repeats in females in the promoter region. The genotype frequencies for the SNP in cases were GG=16.3%, TG=20.6% and TT=63.1%, while in controls, the frequencies were GG=12.7%, TG=6.3%, and TT=81.0%. The allele frequencies were significantly different between cases and controls (p=0.015; OR=1.51; CI=1.085-2.102).

Conclusion: The selected VNTR and SNP appeared to be significantly associated with aggression. These VNTRs and SNP have not been studied previously in the Pakistani population, hence they represent a unique ethnic group. These results, however, would have to be replicated in larger cohorts.

Keywords: Aggression; MAO-A gene; VNTRs; T941G; rs6323; Pakistan.


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eISSN: 1680-6905