Association study of Neuregulin-1 gene polymorphisms in a north Indian schizophrenia sample

C.B. Patel Research Centre, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai, India.
Schizophrenia Research (Impact Factor: 4.43). 01/2013; 144(1-3). DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2012.12.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) gene polymorphisms have been proposed as risk factors for several common disorders. Associations with cognitive variation have also been tested. With regard to schizophrenia (SZ) risk, studies of Caucasian ancestry samples indicate associations more consistently than East Asian samples, suggesting heterogeneity. To exploit the differences in linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure across ethnic groups, we conducted a SZ case-control study (that included cognitive evaluations) in a sample from the north Indian population. METHODS: NRG1 variants (n=35 SNPs, three microsatellite markers) were initially analyzed among cases (DSM IV criteria, n=1007) and controls (n=1019, drawn from two groups) who were drawn from the same geographical region in North India. Nominally significant associations with SZ were next analyzed in relation to neurocognitive measures estimated with a computerized neurocognitive battery in a subset of the sample (n=116 cases, n=170 controls). RESULTS: Three variants and one microsatellite showed allelic association with SZ (rs35753505, rs4733263, rs6994992, and microsatellite 420M9-1395, p≤0.05 uncorrected for multiple comparisons). A six marker haplotype 221121 (rs35753505-rs6994992-rs1354336-rs10093107-rs3924999-rs11780123) showed (p=0.0004) association after Bonferroni corrections. Regression analyses with the neurocognitive measures showed nominal (uncorrected) associations with emotion processing and attention at rs35753505 and rs6994992, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Suggestive associations with SZ and SZ-related neurocognitive measures were detected with two SNPs from the NRG1 promoter region in a north Indian cohort. The functional role of the alleles merits further investigation.

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    ABSTRACT: Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) and v-erb-a erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 4 (ErbB4) have been extensively studied in schizophrenia susceptibility because of their pivotal role in key neurodevelopmental processes. One of the reasons for the inconsistencies in results could be the fact that the phenotype investigated has mostly the diagnosis of schizophrenia per se, which is widely heterogeneous, both clinically and biologically. In the present study we tested, in a large cohort of 461 schizophrenia patients recruited in Scotland, whether several SNPs in NRG1 and/or ErbB4 are associated with schizophrenia symptom dimensions as evaluated by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). We then followed up nominally significant results in a second cohort of 439 schizophrenia subjects recruited in Germany. Using linear regression, we observed two different groups of polymorphisms in NRG1 gene: one showing a nominal association with higher scores of the PANSS positive dimension and the other one with higher scores of the PANSS negative dimension. Regarding ErbB4, a small cluster located in the 5' end of the gene was detected, showing nominal association mainly with negative, general and total dimensions of the PANSS. These findings suggest that some regions of NRG1 and ErbB4 are functionally involved in biological processes that underlie some of the phenotypic manifestations of schizophrenia. Because of the lack of significant association after correction for multiple testing, our analyses should be considered as exploratory and hypothesis generating for future studies.
    NeuroMolecular Medicine 08/2014; 16(4). DOI:10.1007/s12017-014-8323-9 · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder with lifetime prevalence of ~ 1% worldwide. A genotyping study was conducted using a custom panel of Illumina 1536 SNPs in 840 schizophrenia cases and 876 controls (351 patients and 385 controls from North India; and 436 patients, 401 controls and 143 familial samples with 53 probands containing 37 complete and 16 incomplete trios from South India). Meta-analysis of this population of Indo-European and Dravidian ancestry identified three strongly associated variants with schizophrenia: STT3A (rs548181, p = 1.47 × 10− 5), NRG1 (rs17603876, p = 8.66 × 10− 5) and GRM7 (rs3864075, p = 4.06 × 10− 3). Finally, a meta-analysis was conducted comparing our data with data from the Schizophrenia Psychiatric Genome-Wide Association Study Consortium (PGC-SCZ) that supported rs548181 (p = 1.39 × 10− 7). In addition, combined analysis of sporadic case–control association and a transmission disequilibrium test in familial samples from South Indian population identified three associations: rs1062613 (p = 3.12 × 10− 3), a functional promoter variant of HTR3A; rs6710782 (p = 3.50 × 10− 3), an intronic variant of ERBB4; and rs891903 (p = 1.05 × 10− 2), an intronic variant of EBF1. The results support the risk variants observed in the earlier published work and suggest a potential role of neurodevelopmental genes in the schizophrenia pathogenesis.
    Schizophrenia Research 01/2015; 162(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.12.031 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a multifunctional neurotrophin that mediates neurodevelopment and schizophrenia risk. The NRG1 gene undergoes extensive alternative splicing, and association of brain NRG1 type IV isoform expression with the schizophrenia-risk polymorphism rs6994992 is a potential mechanism of risk. Novel splice variants of NRG1-IV (NRG1-IVNV), with predicted unique signaling capabilities, have been cloned in fetal brain tissue. The authors investigated the temporal dynamics of transcription of NRG1-IVNV, compared with the major NRG1 isoforms, across human prenatal and postnatal prefrontal cortical development, and they examined the association of rs6994992 with NRG1-IVNV expression. METHOD NRG1 type I-IV and NRG1-IVNV isoforms were evaluated with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in human postmortem prefrontal cortex tissue samples at 14 to 39 weeks gestation and postnatal ages 0-83 years. The association of rs6994992 genotype with NRG1-IVNV expression and the subcellular distribution and proteolytic processing of NRG1-IVNV isoforms were also determined. RESULTS Expression of NRG1 types I, II, and III was temporally regulated during prenatal and postnatal neocortical development. NRG1-IVNV was expressed from 16 weeks gestation until age 3. Homozygosity for the schizophrenia risk allele (T) of rs6994992 conferred lower cortical NRG1-IVNV levels. Assays showed that NRG1-IVNV is a novel nuclear-enriched, truncated NRG1 protein resistant to proteolytic processing. CONCLUSIONS To the authors' knowledge, this study provides the first quantitative map of NRG1 isoform expression during human neocortical development and aging. It identifies a potential mechanism of early developmental risk for schizophrenia at the NRG1 locus, involving a novel class of NRG1 proteins.
    American Journal of Psychiatry 06/2014; 171(9). DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13111518 · 13.56 Impact Factor

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