Variations in critical morphine biosynthesis genes and their potential to influence human health.

: Endogenous morphine has been detected in human tissues from the vascular, immune and nervous systems. The genes/enzymes (CYP2D6, COMT and PNMT) that are involved in the biosynthesis of morphine have variations that affect their functionality. Some of these variations are the result of single nucleotide polymorphisms of DNA sequences. This review highlights some of the functional differences in the critical enzymes required for the biosynthesis of morphine that may affect human health. These variations have been shown to change the way animals react to stressors, perceive pain and behave. The presence of morphine signaling in almost all organ systems suggests that it is most likely playing a role in maintaining the health and promoting the normal functioning of these physiological systems.

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