Is aggression your immediate response to stress? And maybe you are a bit business savvy too? The “warrior” gene could be to blame. The “warrior” gene is the MAOA-L genetic variant of the MAOA gene. This genetic variant results in:
- Low levels of monoamine oxidase A
- Disrupted breakdown of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain)
- Increased risk of aggressive and antisocial behaviour
- Increased chance of financial risk taking and successful business decisions
What is the “warrior” gene? The “warrior” gene refers to a genetic variant of the MAOA gene that was named due to its association with aggressive behaviour. The MAOA gene encodes the monoamine oxidase A enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters – chemical messengers involved in transmitting messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The “warrior” gene results in low levels of monoamine oxidase A, disrupting the normal breakdown of these neurotransmitters. How is the “warrior” gene inherited? The MAOA gene is located on the X-chromosome. Males inherit only one X chromosome so they have only one version of MAOA. If a male inherits the “warrior” gene, they are more likely to be affected by it. Females have two X chromosomes, hence females can inherit two different versions of the gene. This means that even if a female inherits one copy of the “warrior” gene, they are less likely to be affected as they also carry one normal version of MAOA. DNA testing for the “warrior” gene A simple DNA test can be done to find out which single form of MAOA a male has inherited and which two forms a female has inherited. Females can inherit two identical or two different copies of the MAOA gene. The test determines how many repeats are present in the regulatory region of the MAOA gene. There are five variants with different numbers of repeats – 2, 3, 3.5, 4 and 5. Individuals with 3.5 or 4 repeats, have the MAOA-H allele and make high levels of monoamine oxidase A. Individuals with 2, 3, or 5 repeats have the MAOA-L allele, known as the “warrior” gene.
Four Easy Steps Step 1: Order text kit online Step 2: Collect DNA sample using a simple and painless mouth swab Step 3: Mail samples to the lab in the provided return envelope Step 4: Receive your results online