Alcohol abuse is known to have a hereditary component, but little is known about the specific genes that underlie this tendency. Bhandari et al. now uncover a cross-species role for chloride intracellular channels (CLICs) in modulating behavioural responses to alcohol. After applying bioinformatics to identify alcohol-responsive loci in humans and mice, they followed up the most highly ranked gene – CLIC4 – in functional studies with model organisms. They found that behavioural and/or physiological responses to alcohol were modulated by the sole Clic gene in flies, by the two clic genes in worms (exc-4 and exl-1) and by Clic4 in mice. Although further studies are required to determine the exact mechanism of CLIC genes in modulating alcohol responses, the authors’ bioinformatic analyses suggest that CLIC proteins might affect RNA processing and trafficking, whereas other proposed roles include the regulation of ryanodine receptors or the TGFβ signalling pathway.
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RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT| 01 March 2012
Regulating responses to alcohol: role for CLIC genes
Online ISSN: 1754-8411
Print ISSN: 1754-8403
Written by editorial staff. © 2012. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly cited and all further distributions of the work or adaptation are subject to the same Creative Commons License terms.
Dis Model Mech (2012) 5 (2): 149.
Regulating responses to alcohol: role for CLIC genes. Dis Model Mech 1 March 2012; 5 (2): 149. doi:
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