114 research outputs found

    Comprehensive Gene-Based Association Study of a Chromosome 20 Linked Region Implicates Novel Risk Loci for Depressive Symptoms in Psychotic Illness

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    Background Prior genomewide scans of schizophrenia support evidence of linkage to regions of chromosome 20. However, association analyses have yet to provide support for any etiologically relevant variants. Methods We analyzed 2988 LD-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 327 genes on chromosome 20, to test for association with schizophrenia in 270 Irish high-density families (ISHDSF, N = 270 families, 1408 subjects). These SNPs were genotyped using an Illumina iSelect genotyping array which employs the Infinium assay. Given a previous report of novel linkage with chromosome 20p using latent classes of psychotic illness in this sample, association analysis was also conducted for each of five factor-derived scores based on the Operational Criteria Checklist for Psychotic Illness (delusions, hallucinations, mania, depression, and negative symptoms). Tests of association were conducted using the PDTPHASE and QPDTPHASE packages of UNPHASED. Empirical estimates of gene-wise significance were obtained by adaptive permutation of a) the smallest observed P-value and b) the threshold-truncated product of P-values for each locus. Results While no single variant was significant after LD-corrected Bonferroni-correction, our gene-dropping analyses identified loci which exceeded empirical significance criteria for both gene-based tests. Namely, R3HDML and C20orf39 are significantly associated with depressive symptoms of schizophrenia (PempP-value and truncated-product methods, respectively. Conclusions Using a gene-based approach to family-based association, R3HDML and C20orf39 were found to be significantly associated with clinical dimensions of schizophrenia. These findings demonstrate the efficacy of gene-based analysis and support previous evidence that chromosome 20 may harbor schizophrenia susceptibility or modifier loci

    HECTD2, a candidate susceptibility gene for Alzheimer's disease on 10q

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    Background: Late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterised by the deposition of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain and is the major cause of dementia. Multiple genetic loci, including 10q, have been implicated in LOAD but to date, with the exception of APOE, the underlying genes have not been identified. HECTD2 maps to 10q and has been implicated in susceptibility to human prion diseases which are also neurodegenerative conditions associated with accumulation of misfolded host proteins. In this study we test whether the HECTD2 susceptibility allele seen in prion disease is also implicated in LOAD.Methods: DNA from 320 individuals with Alzheimer's disease and 601 controls were genotyped for a HECTD2 intronic tagging SNP, rs12249854 (A/T). Groups were further analysed following stratification by APOE genotype.Results: The rs12249854 minor allele (A) frequency was higher (5.8%) in the Alzheimer's disease group as compared to the controls (3.9%), however, this was not statistically significant (P = 0.0668). No significant difference was seen in minor allele frequency in the presence or absence of the APOE epsilon 4 allele.Conclusion: The common haplotypes of HECTD2, tagged by rs12249854, are not associated with susceptibility to LOAD

    Evidence that duplications of 22q11.2 protect against schizophrenia.

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    A number of large, rare copy number variants (CNVs) are deleterious for neurodevelopmental disorders, but large, rare, protective CNVs have not been reported for such phenotypes. Here we show in a CNV analysis of 47 005 individuals, the largest CNV analysis of schizophrenia to date, that large duplications (1.5-3.0 Mb) at 22q11.2--the reciprocal of the well-known, risk-inducing deletion of this locus--are substantially less common in schizophrenia cases than in the general population (0.014% vs 0.085%, OR=0.17, P=0.00086). 22q11.2 duplications represent the first putative protective mutation for schizophrenia

    Psychiatric gene discoveries shape evidence on ADHD's biology

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    The Wellcome Trust, MRC and Action Medical Research have provided ADHD research support for AT, PH, JM, NW, MJO, MCO; we also acknowledge support from NIH grants R1 3MH059126, R0 1MH62873 and R0 1MH081803 to Dr SV Faraone. Dr E Mick received funding through the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (P30HD004147) supported by the NIH.A strong motivation for undertaking psychiatric gene discovery studies is to provide novel insights into unknown biology. Although attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable, and large, rare copy number variants (CNVs) contribute to risk, little is known about its pathogenesis and it remains commonly misunderstood. We assembled and pooled five ADHD and control CNV data sets from the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States of America, Northern Europe and Canada. Our aim was to test for enrichment of neurodevelopmental gene sets, implicated by recent exome-sequencing studies of (a) schizophrenia and (b) autism as a means of testing the hypothesis that common pathogenic mechanisms underlie ADHD and these other neurodevelopmental disorders. We also undertook hypothesis-free testing of all biological pathways. We observed significant enrichment of individual genes previously found to harbour schizophrenia de novo non-synonymous single-nucleotide variants (SNVs; P=5.4 × 10-4) and targets of the Fragile X mental retardation protein (P=0.0018). No enrichment was observed for activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (P=0.23) or N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (P=0.74) post-synaptic signalling gene sets previously implicated in schizophrenia. Enrichment of ADHD CNV hits for genes impacted by autism de novo SNVs (P=0.019 for non-synonymous SNV genes) did not survive Bonferroni correction. Hypothesis-free testing yielded several highly significantly enriched biological pathways, including ion channel pathways. Enrichment findings were robust to multiple testing corrections and to sensitivity analyses that excluded the most significant sample. The findings reveal that CNVs in ADHD converge on biologically meaningful gene clusters, including ones now established as conferring risk of other neurodevelopmental disorders.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    FOX-2 Dependent Splicing of Ataxin-2 Transcript Is Affected by Ataxin-1 Overexpression

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    Alternative splicing is a fundamental posttranscriptional mechanism for controlling gene expression, and splicing defects have been linked to various human disorders. The splicing factor FOX-2 is part of a main protein interaction hub in a network related to human inherited ataxias, however, its impact remains to be elucidated. Here, we focused on the reported interaction between FOX-2 and ataxin-1, the disease-causing protein in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. In this line, we further evaluated this interaction by yeast-2-hybrid analyses and co-immunoprecipitation experiments in mammalian cells. Interestingly, we discovered that FOX-2 localization and splicing activity is affected in the presence of nuclear ataxin-1 inclusions. Moreover, we observed that FOX-2 directly interacts with ataxin-2, a protein modulating spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 pathogenesis. Finally, we provide evidence that splicing of pre-mRNA of ataxin-2 depends on FOX-2 activity, since reduction of FOX-2 levels led to increased skipping of exon 18 in ataxin-2 transcripts. Most striking, we observed that ataxin-1 overexpression has an effect on this splicing event as well. Thus, our results demonstrate that FOX-2 is involved in splicing of ataxin-2 transcripts and that this splicing event is altered by overexpression of ataxin-1

    Genetic regulation of Nrnx1 expression: an integrative cross-species analysis of schizophrenia candidate genes

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    Neurexin 1 (NRXN1) is a large presynaptic transmembrane protein that has complex and variable patterns of expression in the brain. Sequence variants in NRXN1 are associated with differences in cognition, and with schizophrenia and autism. The murine Nrxn1 gene is also highly polymorphic and is associated with significant variation in expression that is under strong genetic control. Here, we use co-expression analysis, high coverage genomic sequence, and expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping to study the regulation of this gene in the brain. We profiled a family of 72 isogenic progeny strains of a cross between C57BL/6J and DBA/2J (the BXD family) using exon arrays and massively parallel RNA sequencing. Expression of most Nrxn1 exons have high genetic correlation (r>0.6) because of the segregation of a common trans eQTL on chromosome (Chr) 8 and a common cis eQTL on Chr 17. These two loci are also linked to murine phenotypes relevant to schizophrenia and to a novel human schizophrenia candidate gene with high neuronal expression (Pleckstrin and Sec7 domain containing 3). In both human and mice, NRXN1 is co-expressed with numerous synaptic and cell signaling genes, and known schizophrenia candidates. Cross-species co-expression and protein interaction network analyses identified glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3B) as one of the most consistent and conserved covariates of NRXN1. By using the Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia data set, we were able to test and confirm that markers in NRXN1 and GSK3B have epistatic interactions in human populations that can jointly modulate risk of schizophrenia

    Common variants at ABCA7, MS4A6A/MS4A4E, EPHA1, CD33 and CD2AP are associated with Alzheimer's disease

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    We sought to identify new susceptibility loci for Alzheimer's disease through a staged association study (GERAD+) and by testing suggestive loci reported by the Alzheimer's Disease Genetic Consortium (ADGC) in a companion paper. We undertook a combined analysis of four genome-wide association datasets (stage 1) and identified ten newly associated variants with P ≤ 1 × 10−5. We tested these variants for association in an independent sample (stage 2). Three SNPs at two loci replicated and showed evidence for association in a further sample (stage 3). Meta-analyses of all data provided compelling evidence that ABCA7 (rs3764650, meta P = 4.5 × 10−17; including ADGC data, meta P = 5.0 × 10−21) and the MS4A gene cluster (rs610932, meta P = 1.8 × 10−14; including ADGC data, meta P = 1.2 × 10−16) are new Alzheimer's disease susceptibility loci. We also found independent evidence for association for three loci reported by the ADGC, which, when combined, showed genome-wide significance: CD2AP (GERAD+, P = 8.0 × 10−4; including ADGC data, meta P = 8.6 × 10−9), CD33 (GERAD+, P = 2.2 × 10−4; including ADGC data, meta P = 1.6 × 10−9) and EPHA1 (GERAD+, P = 3.4 × 10−4; including ADGC data, meta P = 6.0 × 10−10)
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