Alcoholic liver cirrhosis (ALC) causes a significant mortality worldwide. World Health Organization 2014 Report on ?alcohol and health? reports 50% of liver cirrhosis mortality worldwide is due to alcohol, reaching as high as ~60% in north America and Europe. In principle, all alcoholic liver diseases are preventable with appropriate behavioral and lifestyle change, including pharmaceutical approaches. However, progress in developing specific pharmaceutical interventions has been hampered by poor understanding of both genetic and non-genetic factors contributing towards the pathogenesis of this disease. The OVERALL GOAL is to identify loci, genes and polymorphisms underlying genetic risk for the development of ALC in heavy drinkers. To do this the multinational GenomALC Consortium has successfully collected extensive phenotype data and blood/DNAs from >5000 heavy drinkers with and without cirrhosis which will be subjected to genotyping via genome-wide SNP association approach in 2016-2017 (UO1-AA018389). Through other significant collaborations, the consortium has access to additional ~2000 genotype- phenotype data making it the largest discovery cohort for ALC genetics. The consortium has also done the groundwork in identifying and accessing ?mega-cohort? Genomics Biobanks (e.g UK Biobank) as independent validation cohorts.
The specific aims of the current application are, aim 1: To identify genetic risk factors for ALC through case-control GWAS in GenomALC discovery cohort (n=~7411);
aim 2 : To confirm allelic associations in independent validation cohorts available from established ?mega-cohort? genomic databases;
aim 3 : To perform meta-analysis with results from other GWAS on alcoholic cirrhosis;
aim 4 : To examine overlap in genetic risk between alcoholic cirrhosis and potentially related diseases and biomarkers of cirrhosis. The GenomALC team (geneticists, genetic statisticians, clinicians) has the right expertise, skills and established infrastructure to perform these analyses. This large case-control GWAS has the power to identify novel SNPs, create new knowledge and infer pathways/mechanisms leading to alcoholic cirrhosis, thus identifying potential targets for new or repurposed drug treatments.

Public Health Relevance

The significance of this project is enormous given the worldwide problem of ALC and its lack of treatment. Genetic risk factors combined with clinical and phenotype risks, offers the potential to improved disease prediction, patient care, and the realization of the promise of personalized medicine.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Initial Review Group (AA)
Program Officer
Gao, Peter
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Southern California Institute for Research/Education
Long Beach
United States
Zip Code
Jinjuvadia, Raxitkumar; Antaki, Fadi; Lohia, Prateek et al. (2017) The Association Between Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Metabolic Abnormalities in The United States Population. J Clin Gastroenterol 51:160-166
Khanova, Elena; Wu, Raymond; Wang, Wen et al. (2017) Pyroptosis by Caspase11/4-Gasdermin-D Pathway in Alcoholic Hepatitis. Hepatology :
Patel, Suhag; Jinjuvadia, Raxitkumar; Patel, Ravi et al. (2016) Insulin Resistance is Associated With Significant Liver Fibrosis in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Gastroenterol 50:80-4
Liangpunsakul, Suthat; Haber, Paul; McCaughan, Geoffrey W (2016) Alcoholic Liver Disease in Asia, Europe, and North America. Gastroenterology 150:1786-97
Shen, Huafeng; Liangpunsakul, Suthat (2016) Histamine H2-Receptor Antagonist Use Is Associated With Lower Prevalence of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Population-based Study From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2006. J Clin Gastroenterol 50:596-601
Ju, Cynthia; Liangpunsakul, Suthat (2016) Role of hepatic macrophages in alcoholic liver disease. J Investig Med 64:1075-7
Srivastava, Rajneesh; Zhang, Yang; Xiong, Xiwen et al. (2016) Prediction and Validation of Transcription Factors Modulating the Expression of Sestrin3 Gene Using an Integrated Computational and Experimental Approach. PLoS One 11:e0160228
Liangpunsakul, Suthat (2015) Carbohydrate-responsive element-binding protein, Sirtuin 1, and ethanol metabolism: a complicated network in alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis. Hepatology 62:994-6
Liangpunsakul, Suthat; Lai, Xianyin; Ross, Ruth A et al. (2015) Novel serum biomarkers for detection of excessive alcohol use. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 39:556-65
Gough, Gina; Heathers, Laura; Puckett, Deonna et al. (2015) The Utility of Commonly Used Laboratory Tests to Screen for Excessive Alcohol Use in Clinical Practice. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 39:1493-500

Showing the most recent 10 out of 13 publications