Possible Association between Suicide Committed under Influence of Ethanol and a Variant in the AUTS2 Gene

Department of Medical Genetics, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 02/2013; 8(2):e57199. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057199
Source: PubMed


rs6943555 in AUTS2 has been shown to modulate ethanol consumption. We hypothesized that rs6943555 might be associated with completed suicide.
We genotyped rs6943555 in 625 completed suicides and 3861 controls using real-time TaqMan Allelic Discrimination Assay. All individuals were Polish Caucasians.
We detected an association between suicide and rs6943555 A allele (OR = 1.17, P = 0.018 for allelic comparison, OR = 1.24, P = 0.013 for dominant, and OR = 1.18, P = 0.020 for co-dominant model of inheritance). The association remained significant after adjusting for age and gender (co-dominant: P = 0.002 and dominant model: P = 0.001). After stratifying suicides according to blood ethanol concentration (BAC≤ 20 mg/dl and BAC > 20 mg/dl) the association remained significant only for cases who committed suicide under influence of alcohol (co-dominant: OR = 1.37, P = 0.004 and dominant model: OR = 1.45, P = 0.006). To validate this finding we genotyped another cohort of 132 cases. We reproduced the association between rs6943555 A allele and suicide under influence of ethanol (allelic comparison: OR = 1.55, P = 0.023; co-dominant : OR = 1.54, P = 0.031; dominant model: OR = 1.84, P = 0.015). Analyzing pooled suicides with BAC >20 mg/dl (N = 300) we found the association of rs6943555 A allele not only vs. controls (allelic OR = 1.41, P = 0.00029) but also vs. cases with BAC ≤ 20 mg/dl (N = 449, allelic OR = 1.33, P = 0.019).
In our study rs6943555 A allele is associated with suicide committed after drinking ethanol shortly before death. The rs6943555 A allele may be linked to adverse emotional reaction to ethanol, which could explain the association with lower consumption in general population as well as the predisposition to suicide under influence of ethanol.

Download full-text


Available from: Krzysztof Gajos, Aug 29, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The autism susceptibility candidate 2 (AUTS2) gene is associated with multiple neurological diseases, including autism, and has been implicated as an important gene in human-specific evolution. Recent functional analysis of this gene has revealed a potential role in neuronal development. Here, we review the literature regarding AUTS2, including its discovery, expression, association with autism and other neurological and non-neurological traits, implication in human evolution, function, regulation, and genetic pathways. Through progress in clinical genomic analysis, the medical importance of this gene is becoming more apparent, as highlighted in this review, but more work needs to be done to discover the precise function and the genetic pathways associated with AUTS2.
    Trends in Genetics 09/2013; 29(10). DOI:10.1016/j.tig.2013.08.001 · 9.92 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have used unique population-based data resources to identify 22 high-risk extended pedigrees that show clustering of suicide over twice that expected from demographically adjusted incidence rates. In this initial study of genetic risk factors, we focused on two high-risk pedigrees. In the first of these (pedigree 12), 10/19 (53%) of the related suicides were female, and the average age at death was 30.95. In the second (pedigree 5), 7/51 (14%) of the suicides were female and the average age at death was 36.90. Six decedents in pedigree 12 and nine in pedigree 5 were genotyped with the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip. Genotypes were analyzed using the Variant Annotation, Analysis, and Search program package that computes likelihoods of risk variants using the functional impact of the DNA variation, aggregative scoring of multiple variants across each gene and pedigree structure. We prioritized variants that were: (1) shared across pedigree members, (2) rare in other Utah suicides not related to these pedigrees, (3)  5% in genotyping data from 398 other Utah population controls and (4) 5% frequency in publicly available sequence data from 1358 controls and/or in dbSNP. Results included several membrane protein genes (ANO5, and TMEM141 for pedigree 12 and FAM38A and HRCT1 for pedigree 5). Other genes with known neuronal involvement and/or previous associations with psychiatric conditions were also identified, including NFKB1, CASP9, PLXNB1 and PDE11A in pedigree 12, and THOC1, and AUTS2 in pedigree 5. Although the study is limited to variants included on the HumanExome BeadChip, these findings warrant further exploration, and demonstrate the utility of this high-risk pedigree resource to identify potential genes or gene pathways for future development of targeted interventions.
    Translational Psychiatry 11/2013; 3(11):e325. DOI:10.1038/tp.2013.100 · 5.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The autism susceptibility candidate 2 gene (AUTS2) has been associated with multiple neurological diseases including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Previous studies showed that AUTS2 has an important neurodevelopmental function and is a suspected master regulator of genes implicated in ASD-related pathways. However, the regulatory role and targets of Auts2 are not well known. Here, by using ChIP-seq (chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing) and RNA-seq on mouse embryonic day 16.5 forebrains, we elucidated the gene regulatory networks of Auts2. We find that the majority of promoters bound by Auts2 belong to genes highly expressed in the developing forebrain, suggesting that Auts2 is involved in transcriptional activation. Auts2 non-promoter-bound regions significantly overlap developing brain-associated enhancer marks and are located near genes involved in neurodevelopment. Auts2-marked sequences are enriched for binding site motifs of neurodevelopmental transcription factors, including Pitx3 and TCF3. In addition, we characterized two functional brain enhancers marked by Auts2 near NRXN1 and ATP2B2, both ASD-implicated genes. Our results implicate Auts2 as an active regulator of important neurodevelopmental genes and pathways and identify novel genomic regions that could be associated with ASD and other neurodevelopmental diseases.
    Translational Psychiatry 09/2014; 4(9):e431. DOI:10.1038/tp.2014.78 · 5.62 Impact Factor
Show more