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1.  Custom genotyping for substance addiction susceptibility genes in Jordanians of Arab descent 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:497.
Both environmental and genetic factors contribute to individual susceptibility to initiation of substance use and vulnerability to addiction. Determining genetic risk factors can make an important contribution to understanding the processes leading to addiction. In order to identify gene(s) and mechanisms associated with substance addiction, a custom platform array search for a genetic association in a case/control of homogenous Jordanian Arab population was undertaken. Patients meeting the DSM-VI criteria for substance dependence (n = 220) and entering eight week treatment program at two Jordanian Drug Rehabilitation Centres were genotyped. In addition, 240 healthy controls were also genotyped. The sequenom MassARRAY system (iPLEX GOLD) was used to genotype 49 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 8 genes (DRD1, DRD2, DRD3, DRD4, DRD5, BDNF, SLC6A3 and COMT).
This study revealed six new associations involving SNPs within DRD2 gene on chromosome 11. These six SNPs within the DRD2 were found to be most strongly associated with substance addiction in the Jordanian Arabic sample. The strongest statistical evidence for these new association signals were from rs1799732 in the C/−C promoter and rs1125394 in A/G intron 1 regions of DRD2, with the overall estimate of effects returning an odds ratio of 3.37 (χ2 (2, N = 460) = 21, p-value = 0.000026) and 1.78 (χ2 (2, N = 460) = 8, p-value = 0.001), respectively. It has been suggested that DRD2, dopamine receptor D2, plays an important role in dopamine secretion and the signal pathways of dopaminergic reward and drug addiction.
This study is the first to show a genetic link to substance addiction in a Jordanian population of Arab descent. These findings may contribute to our understanding of drug addiction mechanisms in Middle Eastern populations and how to manage or dictate therapy for individuals. Comparative analysis with different ethnic groups could assist further improving our understanding of these mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3477049  PMID: 22963930
SNP; DRD2; Opiates; Cocaine; Association; Substance addiction; Jordan; Arab
2.  Mu opioid receptor (OPRM1) as a predictor of treatment outcome in opiate-dependent individuals of Arab descent 
A number of research studies on the genetics of opiate dependence have focused on the μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1), which is a primary target for opiates. This study aims to identify genetic polymorphisms within the OPRM1 gene involved in response to the biopsychosocial treatment in opiate-dependent individuals of Arab descent.
Unrelated Jordanian Nationals of Arab descent (N = 183) with opiate dependence were selected for this study. These individuals, all males, met the DSM-IV criteria for opiate dependence and were undergoing a voluntary 8-week treatment program at a Jordanian Drug Rehabilitation Centre. All individuals were genotyped for 22 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the OPRM1 gene using the Sequenom MassARRAY® system (iPLEX GOLD). Statistical analyses were carried out using the R package.
Patients receiving biopsychosocial treatment showed that there was a significant difference in their OPRM1 SNPs’ genotyping distribution between good, moderate, and poor responders to the treatment at two sites (rs6912029 [G-172T], and rs12205732 [G-1510A], P < 0.05, Fisher’s exact test).
This study is the first report of an association between the OPRM1 G-172T and G-1510A polymorphisms and treatment response for opiate dependence. Specifically, this study demonstrated that the OPRM1 GG-172 and GG-1510 genotypes were more frequent among patients who were nonresponders to the biopsychosocial treatment. However, further pharmacogenetic studies in a larger cohort of opiate-dependent patients of Arab descent are needed to confirm these findings and identify individuals with increased chance of relapse.
PMCID: PMC3513232  PMID: 23226066
OPRM1; association; opiates; dependence; treatment response; Arab
3.  Characterization of surface proteins of Cronobacter muytjensii using monoclonal antibodies and MALDI-TOF Mass spectrometry 
BMC Microbiology  2011;11:148.
Cronobacter spp. is a newly emerging pathogen that causes meningitis in infants and other diseases in elderly and immunocompromised individuals. This study was undertaken to investigate surface antigenic determinants in Cronobacter spp. using monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and MALDI-TOF Mass spectrometry.
Spleenocytes from mice that were immunized with heat-killed (20 min, 80°C) Cronobacter cells were fused with SP2 myeloma cells. Five desirable MAbs (A1, B5, 2C2, C5 and A4) were selected. MAbs A1, B5, 2C2 and C5 were of IgG2a isotype while A4 was an IgM. Specificity of the MAbs was determined by using immunoblotting with outer membrane protein preparations (OMPs) extracted from 12 Cronobacter and 6 non-Cronobacter bacteria. All MAbs recognized proteins with molecular weight ranging between 36 and 49 kDa except for one isolate (44) in which no OMPs were detected. In addition, MAbs recognized two bands (38-41 kDa) in four of the non-Cronobacter bacteria. Most of the proteins recognized by the MAbs were identified by MALDI-TOF peptide sequencing and appeared to be heterogeneous with the identities of some of them are still unknown. All MAbs recognized the same epitope as determined by an additive Index ELISA with their epitopes appeared to be conformational rather than sequential. Further, none of the MAbs recognized purified LPS from Cronobacter spp. Specificity of the MAbs toward OMPs was further confirmed by transmission electron microscopy.
Results obtained in this study highlight the immunological cross-reactivity among Cronobacter OMPs and their Enterobacteriaceae counterparts. Nevertheless, the identity of the identified proteins appeared to be different as inferred from the MALDI-TOF sequencing and identification.
PMCID: PMC3224122  PMID: 21702985
4.  Transcriptome Analysis of Mouse Stem Cells and Early Embryos 
PLoS Biology  2003;1(3):e74.
Understanding and harnessing cellular potency are fundamental in biology and are also critical to the future therapeutic use of stem cells. Transcriptome analysis of these pluripotent cells is a first step towards such goals. Starting with sources that include oocytes, blastocysts, and embryonic and adult stem cells, we obtained 249,200 high-quality EST sequences and clustered them with public sequences to produce an index of approximately 30,000 total mouse genes that includes 977 previously unidentified genes. Analysis of gene expression levels by EST frequency identifies genes that characterize preimplantation embryos, embryonic stem cells, and adult stem cells, thus providing potential markers as well as clues to the functional features of these cells. Principal component analysis identified a set of 88 genes whose average expression levels decrease from oocytes to blastocysts, stem cells, postimplantation embryos, and finally to newborn tissues. This can be a first step towards a possible definition of a molecular scale of cellular potency. The sequences and cDNA clones recovered in this work provide a comprehensive resource for genes functioning in early mouse embryos and stem cells. The nonrestricted community access to the resource can accelerate a wide range of research, particularly in reproductive and regenerative medicine.
250,000 EST sequences from oocytes, blastocysts, and embryonic and adult stem cells contribute to the annotation of the mouse genome and suggest genes that contribute to the unique features of these developmental stages and cell types
PMCID: PMC300684  PMID: 14691545

Results 1-4 (4)