• Candidate genes;
  • ethanol withdrawal;
  • quantitative trait locus

We recently mapped quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with large effects on predisposition to physical dependence and associated withdrawal severity following chronic and acute alcohol exposure (Alcdp1/Alcw1) to a 1.1-Mb interval of mouse chromosome 1 syntenic with human chromosome 1q23.2-23.3. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of the genes within this interval and show that it contains 40 coding genes, 17 of which show validated genotype-dependent transcript expression and/or non-synonymous coding sequence variation that may underlie the influence of Alcdp1/Alcw1 on ethanol dependence and associated withdrawal. These high priority candidates are involved in diverse cellular functions including intracellular trafficking, oxidative homeostasis, mitochondrial respiration, and extracellular matrix dynamics, and indicate both established and novel aspects of the neurobiological response to ethanol. This work represents a substantial advancement toward identification of the gene(s) that underlies the phenotypic effects of Alcdp1/Alcw1. Additionally, a multitude of QTLs for a variety of complex traits, including diverse behavioral responses to ethanol, have been mapped in the vicinity of Alcdp1/Alcw1, and as many as four QTLs on human chromosome 1q have been implicated in human mapping studies for alcoholism and associated endophenotypes. Thus, our results will be primary to further efforts to identify genes involved in a wide variety of behavioral responses to alcohol and may directly facilitate progress in human alcoholism genetics.