Knowledgebase for Addiction-Related Genes
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On the basis of manually integrating 2343 items of cross-platform data linking genes and chromosome regions to addiction from peer-reviewed publications between 1976 and 2006, a list of 1500 addiction-related human genes were identified in our study. Among them 396 genes were supported by two or more items of evidence. To cite this work, please refer to: Li CY, Mao X, Wei L (2008) Genes and (common) pathways underlying drug addiction. PLoS Comput Biol 4(1): e2. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0040002
  About Addiction

Drug Addiction has become one of the most serious problems in the world. It has been estimated that genetic factors contribute to 40%–60% of the vulnerability to drug addiction, and environmental factors provide the remainder. What are the genes and pathways underlying addiction? Is there a common molecular network underlying addiction to different abusive substances? Is there any network property that may explain the long-lived and often irreversible molecular and structural changes after addiction? These important questions were traditionally studied experimentally. The explosion of genomic and proteomic data in recent years both enabled and necessitated bioinformatic studies of addiction.

  About KARG
   Welcome to the KARG: Knowledgebase for Addiction Related Genes.

KARG aims to integrate multiple analysis strategies in drug addiction to compensate for the biases that affect each strategy. The data and knowledge linking genes and chromosome regions to addiction were extracted from reviewing more than 1,000 peer-reviewed publications from between 1976 and 2006. This list of publications included recent review papers on addiction selected from results of PUBMED query ‘(addiction OR “drug abuse") AND review' as well as research papers selected from PUBMED query ‘(addiction OR “drug abuse") AND (gene OR microarray OR proteomics OR QTL OR “population association” OR “genetic linkage”)'. The data spanned multiple technology platforms including classical hypothesis-testing of single genes, identification of significantly differentially expressed genes in microarray experiments, identification of significantly differentially expressed proteins in proteomics assays, identification of addiction-vulnerable chromosome regions in animal QTL studies, genetic linkage studies, population association studies, and OMIM annotations. From each publication we collected the genes, proteins, or chromosome regions linked to addiction, as well as metadata such as species, nature of the addictive substance, studied brain regions, technology platforms, and experimental parameters. In total, we collected 2,343 items of evidence linking 1,500 human genes to addiction. Among them 396 genes were supported by two or more items of evidence.

The KARG interface supports browsing of the genes by chromosome or pathways, advanced text search by gene ID, organism, type of addictive substance, technology platform, protein domain, and/or PUBMED ID, and sequence search by BLAST similarity. All data, database schema, and MySQL commands are freely available for download at our download page:

Please Click on a chart to take a scenic tour through one of our applications


  News กก
Oct  15th, 2011: KARG 2.0, "Meta-analysis and genome-wide interpretation of genetic susceptibility to drug addiction", has been accepted by BMC Genomics. (See Links)

Jan  2nd, 2010:  KARG group identified the first human-specific protein-coding gene that originated through de novo evolution. The work has been accepted by PLoS Computational Biology. (See Links)

Mar  2nd, 2008:  NIDA/NIH (National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health) added a link to KARG on their website. (See Links)

Feb  5th, 2008:  KARG was featured by Science (STKE) as "Editors' Choice": "A Bioinformatics Approach to Addiction". (See Comment)

Jan 10th, 2008:  KARG was commented by The Economist (Both Printed and Online version):

                                       "A group of Chinese scientists has discovered the main biochemical pathways in drug addiction—and without having to do a single experiment". (See Comment)

Jan 25th, 2008:  KARG was commented by Chinese Journal of Science. (See Comment)

Jan 14th, 2008:  KARG was commented by China Daily: "Genes behind drug addiction tracked". (See Comment)

Jan  8th, 2008:  KARG was commented by REUTERS: "Drug addiction genes identified". (See Comment)

Jan  4th, 2008:  The Public Library of Science (PLoS) published a press release to comment on KARG, which was rapidly published by more than 30 websites. "Assembling The Jigsaw Puzzle Of Drug Addiction". (See Comment)

Dec 19th, 2007:  KARG was highlighted by Nature China: "Drug addiction: The ultimate gene list". (See comment)

Jan 4th, 2008:  KARG was published on PLoS Computational Biology:

                                     Li CY, Mao X, Wei L (2008) Genes and (common) pathways underlying drug addiction. PLoS Comput Biol 4(1): e2. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0040002 (PubMed) (Full Text)

Oct 11th, 2007:  KARG was submitted to PLoS Computational Biology.

Jan  1st, 2007:  KARG 1.0 data freeze. a total of 1500 human genes were linked to addiction with 2343 independent evidences.

Nov  1st, 2005: The KARG project launched in Center for Bioinformatics, Peking University.

  Center for Bioinformatics(CBI), Peking University. Any Comments and suggestions to : KARG GROUP