[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder. Genetic risk is conferred by a large number of alleles, including common alleles of small effect that might be detected by genome-wide association studies. Here we report a multi-stage schizophrenia genome-wide association study of up to 36,989 cases and 113,075 controls. We identify 128 independent associations spanning 108 conservatively defined loci that meet genome-wide significance, 83 of which have not been previously reported. Associations were enriched among genes expressed in brain, providing biological plausibility for the findings. Many findings have the potential to provide entirely new insights into aetiology, but associations at DRD2 and several genes involved in glutamatergic neurotransmission highlight molecules of known and potential therapeutic relevance to schizophrenia, and are consistent with leading pathophysiological hypotheses. Independent of genes expressed in brain, associations were enriched among genes expressed in tissues that have important roles in immunity, providing support for the speculated link between the immune system and schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breakpoints of chromosomal abnormalities facilitate identification of novel candidate genes for psychiatric disorders. Genome-wide significant evidence supports the linkage between chromosome 17q25.3 and bipolar disorder (BD). Co-segregation of translocation t(9;17)(q33.2;q25.3) with psychiatric disorders has been reported. We aimed to narrow down these chromosomal breakpoint regions and to investigate the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms within these regions and BD as well as schizophrenia (SZ) in large genome-wide association study samples.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identifying rare, highly penetrant risk mutations may be an important step in dissecting the molecular etiology of schizophrenia. We conducted a gene-based analysis of large (>100kb), rare copy number variants (CNVs) in the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2) schizophrenia sample of 1,564 cases and 1,748 controls all from Ireland, and further extended the analysis to include an additional 5,196 UK controls. We found association with duplications at chr20p12.2 (P=0.007) and evidence of replication in large independent European schizophrenia (P=0.052) and UK bipolar disorder case-control cohorts (P=0.047). A combined analysis of Irish/UK subjects including additional psychosis cases (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) identified 22 carriers in 11,707 cases and 10 carriers in 21,204 controls (meta-analysis CMH P value=2x10(-4) (odds ratio (OR)=11.3, 95% CI=3.7, ∞)). Nineteen of the 22 cases and 8 of the 10 controls carried duplications starting at 9.68Mb with similar breakpoints across samples. By haplotype analysis and sequencing we identified a tandem ∼149kb duplication overlapping the gene p21 Protein-Activated Kinase 7 (PAK7, also called PAK5) which was in linkage disequilibrium with local haplotypes (P=2.5x10(-21)), indicative of a single ancestral duplication event. We confirmed the breakpoints in 8/8 carriers tested and found co-segregation of the duplication with illness in two additional family members of one of the affected probands. We demonstrate that PAK7 is developmentally co-expressed with another known psychosis risk gene (DISC1) suggesting a potential molecular mechanism involving aberrant synapse development and plasticity.
Human Molecular Genetics 01/2014; · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common and complex neurodegenerative disease in the elderly individuals. Recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been used to investigate AD pathogenesis. These GWAS have yielded important new insights into the genetic mechanisms of AD. However, these newly identified AD susceptibility loci exert only very small risk effects and cannot fully explain the underlying AD genetic risk. We hypothesize that combining the findings from different AD GWAS may have greater power than genetic analysis alone. To identify new AD risk factors, we integrated findings from 3 previous large-scale AD GWAS (n = 14,138) using a gene-based meta-analysis and subsequently conducted a pathway analysis using the kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes and gene ontology databases. Interestingly, we not only confirmed previous findings, but also highlighted, for the first time, the involvement of cardiovascular disease-related pathways in AD. Our results provided the clues as to the link between these diseases using pathway analysis methods. We believe that these findings will be very useful for future genetic studies of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake has key roles in cell life and death. Physiological Ca2+ signaling regulates aerobic metabolism, whereas pathological Ca2+ overload triggers cell death. Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake is mediated by the Ca2+ uniporter complex in the inner mitochondrial membrane1, 2, which comprises MCU, a Ca2+-selective ion channel, and its regulator, MICU1. Here we report mutations of MICU1 in individuals with a disease phenotype characterized by proximal myopathy, learning difficulties and a progressive extrapyramidal movement disorder. In fibroblasts from subjects with MICU1 mutations, agonist-induced mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake at low cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations was increased, and cytosolic Ca2+ signals were reduced. Although resting mitochondrial membrane potential was unchanged in MICU1-deficient cells, the mitochondrial network was severely fragmented. Whereas the pathophysiology of muscular dystrophy3 and the core myopathies4 involves abnormal mitochondrial Ca2+ handling, the phenotype associated with MICU1 deficiency is caused by a primary defect in mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling, demonstrating the crucial role of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol dependence is a common, complex and debilitating disorder with genetic and environmental influences. Here we show that alcohol consumption increases following mutations to the γ-aminobutyric acidA receptor (GABAAR) β1 subunit gene (Gabrb1). Using N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis on an alcohol-averse background (F1 BALB/cAnN x C3H/HeH), we develop a mouse model exhibiting strong heritable preference for ethanol resulting from a dominant mutation (L285R) in Gabrb1. The mutation causes spontaneous GABA ion channel opening and increases GABA sensitivity of recombinant GABAARs, coupled to increased tonic currents in the nucleus accumbens, a region long-associated with alcohol reward. Mutant mice work harder to obtain ethanol, and are more sensitive to alcohol intoxication. Another spontaneous mutation (P228H) in Gabrb1 also causes high ethanol consumption accompanied by spontaneous GABA ion channel opening and increased accumbal tonic current. Our results provide a new and important link between GABAAR function and increased alcohol consumption that could underlie some forms of alcohol abuse.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the extent to which the proportion of schizophrenia's additive genetic variation tagged by SNPs is shared by populations of European and African descent, we analyzed the largest combined African descent (AD [n = 2,142]) and European descent (ED [n = 4,990]) schizophrenia case-control genome-wide association study (GWAS) data set available, the Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia (MGS) data set. We show how a method that uses genomic similarities at measured SNPs to estimate the additive genetic correlation (SNP correlation [SNP-rg]) between traits can be extended to estimate SNP-rg for the same trait between ethnicities. We estimated SNP-rg for schizophrenia between the MGS ED and MGS AD samples to be 0.66 (SE = 0.23), which is significantly different from 0 (p(SNP-rg = 0) = 0.0003), but not 1 (p(SNP-rg = 1) = 0.26). We re-estimated SNP-rg between an independent ED data set (n = 6,665) and the MGS AD sample to be 0.61 (SE = 0.21, p(SNP-rg = 0) = 0.0003, p(SNP-rg = 1) = 0.16). These results suggest that many schizophrenia risk alleles are shared across ethnic groups and predate African-European divergence.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable. The degree to which genetic variation is unique to individual disorders or shared across disorders is unclear. To examine shared genetic etiology, we use genome-wide genotype data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) for cases and controls in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We apply univariate and bivariate methods for the estimation of genetic variation within and covariation between disorders. SNPs explained 17–29% of the variance in liability. The genetic correlation calculated using common SNPs was high between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (0.68 ± 0.04 s.e.), moderate between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (0.43 ± 0.06 s.e.), bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (0.47 ± 0.06 s.e.), and ADHD and major depressive disorder (0.32 ± 0.07 s.e.), low between schizophrenia and ASD (0.16 ± 0.06 s.e.) and non-significant for other pairs of disorders as well as between psychiatric disorders and the negative control of Crohn’s disease. This empirical evidence of shared genetic etiology for psychiatric disorders can inform nosology and encourages the investigation of common pathophysiologies for related disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a devastating psychiatric condition. Identifying the specific genetic variants and pathways that increase susceptibility to SCZ is critical to improve disease understanding and address the urgent need for new drug targets.
To identify SCZ susceptibility genes.
We integrated results from a meta-analysis of 18 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) involving 1,085,772 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 6 databases that showed significant informativeness for SCZ. The 9380 most promising SNPs were then specifically genotyped in an independent family-based replication study that, after quality control, consisted of 8107 SNPs.
Linkage meta-analysis, brain transcriptome meta-analysis, candidate gene database, OMIM, relevant mouse studies, and expression quantitative trait locus databases.
We included 11,185 cases and 10,768 control subjects from 6 databases and, after quality control 6298 individuals (including 3286 cases) from 1811 nuclear families.
Case-control status for SCZ.
Replication results showed a highly significant enrichment of SNPs with small P values. Of the SNPs with replication values of P.01, the proportion of SNPs that had the same direction of effects as in the GWAS meta-analysis was 89% in the combined ancestry group (sign test, P < 2.20 x 10(-16) and 93% in subjects of European ancestry only (P < 2.20 < 10(-16)). Our results supported the major histocompatibility complex region showing a3.7-fold overall enrichment of replication values of P < .01 in subjects from European ancestry. We replicated SNPs in TCF4 (P = 2.53 x 10(-10)) and NOTCH4 (P = 3.16 x 10(-7)) that are among the most robust SCZ findings. More novel findings included POM121L2 (P = 3.51 x 10(-7)), AS3MT (P = 9.01 x 10(-7)), CNNM2 (P = 6.07 = 10(-7)), and NT5C2(P = 4.09 x 10(-7)). To explore the many small effects, we performed pathway analyses. The most significant pathways involved neuronal function (axonal guidance, neuronal systems, and L1 cell adhesion molecule interaction)and the immune system (antigen processing, cell adhesion molecules relevant to T cells, and translocation to immunological synapse).
We replicated novel SCZ disease genes and pathogenic pathways. Better understanding the molecular and biological mechanisms involved with schizophrenia may improve disease management and may identify new drug targets.
Archives of General Psychiatry 06/2013; 70(6):573-81. · 13.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We undertook a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) involving over 16,000 individuals, the most powerful AD GWAS to date. In stage 1 (3,941 cases and 7,848 controls), we replicated the established association with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) locus (most significant SNP, rs2075650, P = 1.8 × 10−157) and observed genome-wide significant association with SNPs at two loci not previously associated with the disease: at the CLU (also known as APOJ) gene (rs11136000, P = 1.4 × 10−9) and 5′ to the PICALM gene (rs3851179, P = 1.9 × 10−8). These associations were replicated in stage 2 (2,023 cases and 2,340 controls), producing compelling evidence for association with Alzheimer's disease in the combined dataset (rs11136000, P = 8.5 × 10−10, odds ratio = 0.86; rs3851179, P = 1.3 × 10−9, odds ratio = 0.86).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent reports suggest that somatic structural changes occur in the human genome, but how these genomic alterations might contribute to disease is unknown. Using samples collected as part of the International Schizophrenia Consortium (schizophrenia, n=3518; control, n=4238) recruited across multiple university research centers, we assessed single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping arrays for evidence of chromosomal anomalies. Data from genotyping arrays on each individual were processed using Birdsuite and analyzed with PLINK. We validated potential chromosomal anomalies using custom nanostring probes and quantitative PCR. We estimate chromosomal alterations in the schizophrenia population to be 0.42%, which is not significantly different from controls (0.26%). We identified and validated a set of four extremely large (>10 Mb) chromosomal anomalies in subjects with schizophrenia, including a chromosome 8 trisomy and deletion of the q arm of chromosome 7. These data demonstrate that chromosomal anomalies are present at low frequency in blood cells of both control and schizophrenia subjects.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 16 January 2013; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.287.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 01/2013; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clozapine has markedly superior clinical properties compared to other antipsychotic drugs but the side effects of agranulocytosis, weight gain and diabetes limit its use. The reason why clozapine is more effective is not well understood. We studied messenger RNA (mRNA) gene expression in the mouse brain to identify pathways changed by clozapine compared to those changed by haloperidol so that we could identify which changes were specific to clozapine. Data interpretation was performed using an over-representation analysis (ORA) of gene ontology (GO), pathways and gene-by-gene differences. Clozapine significantly changed gene expression in pathways related to neuronal growth and differentiation to a greater extent than haloperidol; including the microtubule-associated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling and GO terms related to axonogenesis and neuroblast proliferation. Several genes implicated genetically or functionally in schizophrenia such as frizzled homolog 3 (FZD3), U2AF homology motif kinase 1 (UHMK1), pericentriolar material 1 (PCM1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were changed by clozapine but not by haloperidol. Furthermore, when compared to untreated controls clozapine specifically regulated transcripts related to the glutamate system, microtubule function, presynaptic proteins and pathways associated with synaptic transmission such as clathrin cage assembly. Compared to untreated controls haloperidol modulated expression of neurotoxic and apoptotic responses such as NF-kappa B and caspase pathways, whilst clozapine did not. Pathways involving lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and appetite regulation were also more affected by clozapine than by haloperidol.
Journal of Psychopharmacology 07/2012; 26(9):1218-30. · 2.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Significant association between polymorphisms at the ANK3 gene with bipolar disorder has previously been reported and confirmed in several samples. Here we report on association between ANK3 and bipolar disorder in a new sample of 593 patients and 642 controls (UCL2) as well as the results of sequencing of the exons and flanking regions of ANK3 from bipolar patients. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with bipolar disorder in our original GWA study (UCL1) were genotyped and tested for association in the new sample. Novel SNPs found by sequencing were genotyped in both samples to test for association with bipolar disorder. None of the SNPs previously associated with bipolar disorder were associated in the UCL2 sample. One of the four SNPs associated in the UCL1 sample, rs1938526, was still significantly associated with bipolar disorder when the UCL1 and UCL2 samples were combined (P = 0.0095). The results demonstrate the impact of heterogeneity on replication of allelic associations even within well-defined ancestral populations. DNA sequencing revealed a novel low frequency (0.007) ANK3 SNP (ss469104599) which causes a non-conservative amino acid change at position 794 in the shorter isoforms of the ankyrin G protein. Protein-function analysis software predicted the amino acid change to be "probably damaging" and it could therefore be detrimental to the function of this isoform. Given that there was only a modest increase in the allele frequency of ss469104599 in cases compared to controls further association studies are needed in additional samples to establish a possible etiological role for this amino acid change.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 04/2012; 159B(3):328-35. · 3.27 Impact Factor