This gene encodes one of at least three opioid receptors in humans; the mu opioid receptor (MOR). The MOR is the principal target of endogenous opioid peptides and opioid analgesic agents such as beta-endorphin and enkephalins. The MOR also has an important role in dependence to other drugs of abuse, such as nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol via its modulation of the dopamine system. The NM_001008503.2:c.118A>G allele has been associated with opioid and alcohol addiction and variations in pain sensitivity but evidence for it having a causal role is conflicting. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. Though the canonical MOR belongs to the superfamily of 7-transmembrane-spanning G-protein-coupled receptors some isoforms of this gene have only 6 transmembrane domains.