[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: 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; · 7.69 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: 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. · 13.77 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: 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. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three linkage studies of families with multiple cases of bipolar disorder and/or unipolar affective disorder have confirmed the involvement of the chromosome 1p36 region in the etiology of affective disorders with LOD scores of 2.7, 3.6, and 3.97. We investigated the protein kinase C zeta gene (PRKCZ) as a susceptibility locus for bipolar disorder because it is highly brain expressed and is localized close to the marker D1S243 which was linked to affective disorder in a single large UCL bipolar disorder family with a LOD of 3.1. PRKCZ encodes an unusual type of protein kinase which affects axonal differentiation through Wnt-signaling. We genotyped four microsatellite markers and nine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers within or near the PRKCZ gene in the UCL case-control sample of 600 bipolar disorder patients and up to 605 supernormal controls. Markers D1S243 and rs3128396 were significantly associated with bipolar disorder (empirical P = 0.037 and P = 0.040, respectively). We also included data from eight SNPs which were genotyped as part of our GWA study on bipolar disorder for association analysis. Tests of haplotypic association found that a haplotype block comprising markers rs3128296, rs2503706, and rs3128309 was associated with bipolar disorder (empirical P = 0.004). A previous linkage study had shown greater evidence for linkage within female cases compared to males. Therefore, to assess if the association was sex-specific, we performed a female-only allelic-association analysis, which resulted in SNPs rs3128296 and rs3128309 becoming associated with bipolar disorder (P = 0.004 and P = 0.016, respectively). PRKCZ may play a role in susceptibility to bipolar affective disorder.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 03/2012; 159B(2):201-9. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ADHD is a common and highly heritable disorder. Family, twin, and adoption studies confirm a strong genetic influence in risk for ADHD and there has been a great deal of interest in identifying the genetic factors involved. Quantitative genetic studies find that genetic risk for ADHD is continuously distributed throughout the population, that there are both shared and unique genetic influences on inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity, and that ADHD shares genetic risk factors with commonly co-occurring clinical syndromes and traits. ADHD is found at all ages and the underlying genetic architecture is similar across the lifespan. In terms of specific genetic findings, there is consistent evidence of monoamine neurotransmitter involvement with the best evidence coming from genetic markers in or near the dopamine D4 and D5 receptor genes. Recent genome-wide association studies have identified new association findings, including genes involved in cell division, cell adhesion, neuronal migration, and neuronal plasticity. However, as yet, none of these pass genome-wide levels of significance. Finally, recent data confirm an important role for rare copy number variants, including those that are found in schizophrenia and autism. Future work should use genetic association data to determine the nature of the cognitive, neuronal and cellular processes that mediate genetic risks on behaviour, and identify environmental factors that interact with genetic risks for ADHD.
Current topics in behavioral neurosciences. 01/2012; 9:239-72.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rare mutations in AβPP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 cause uncommon early onset forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and common variants in MAPT are associated with risk of other neurodegenerative disorders. We sought to establish whether common genetic variation in these genes confer risk to the common form of AD which occurs later in life (>65 years). We therefore tested single-nucleotide polymorphisms at these loci for association with late-onset AD (LOAD) in a large case-control sample consisting of 3,940 cases and 13,373 controls. Single-marker analysis did not identify any variants that reached genome-wide significance, a result which is supported by other recent genome-wide association studies. However, we did observe a significant association at the MAPT locus using a gene-wide approach (p = 0.009). We also observed suggestive association between AD and the marker rs9468, which defines the H1 haplotype, an extended haplotype that spans the MAPT gene and has previously been implicated in other neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and corticobasal degeneration. In summary common variants at AβPP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 and MAPT are unlikely to make strong contributions to susceptibility for LOAD. However, the gene-wide effect observed at MAPT indicates a possible contribution to disease risk which requires further study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychotic symptoms occur in ∼40% of subjects with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and are associated with more rapid cognitive decline and increased functional deficits. They show heritability up to 61% and have been proposed as a marker for a disease subtype suitable for gene mapping efforts. We undertook a combined analysis of three genome-wide association studies (GWASs) to identify loci that (1) increase susceptibility to an AD and subsequent psychotic symptoms; or (2) modify risk of psychotic symptoms in the presence of neurodegeneration caused by AD. In all, 1299 AD cases with psychosis (AD+P), 735 AD cases without psychosis (AD-P) and 5659 controls were drawn from Genetic and Environmental Risk in AD Consortium 1 (GERAD1), the National Institute on Aging Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease (NIA-LOAD) family study and the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) GWASs. Unobserved genotypes were imputed to provide data on >1.8 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Analyses in each data set were completed comparing (1) AD+P to AD-P cases, and (2) AD+P cases with controls (GERAD1, ADRC only). Aside from the apolipoprotein E (APOE) locus, the strongest evidence for association was observed in an intergenic region on chromosome 4 (rs753129; 'AD+PvAD-P' P=2.85 × 10(-7); 'AD+PvControls' P=1.11 × 10(-4)). SNPs upstream of SLC2A9 (rs6834555, P=3.0 × 10(-7)) and within VSNL1 (rs4038131, P=5.9 × 10(-7)) showed strongest evidence for association with AD+P when compared with controls. These findings warrant further investigation in larger, appropriately powered samples in which the presence of psychotic symptoms in AD has been well characterized.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 18 October 2011; doi:10.1038/mp.2011.125.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the role of common genetic variation in schizophrenia in a genome-wide association study of substantial size: a stage 1 discovery sample of 21,856 individuals of European ancestry and a stage 2 replication sample of 29,839 independent subjects. The combined stage 1 and 2 analysis yielded genome-wide significant associations with schizophrenia for seven loci, five of which are new (1p21.3, 2q32.3, 8p23.2, 8q21.3 and 10q24.32-q24.33) and two of which have been previously implicated (6p21.32-p22.1 and 18q21.2). The strongest new finding (P = 1.6 × 10(-11)) was with rs1625579 within an intron of a putative primary transcript for MIR137 (microRNA 137), a known regulator of neuronal development. Four other schizophrenia loci achieving genome-wide significance contain predicted targets of MIR137, suggesting MIR137-mediated dysregulation as a previously unknown etiologic mechanism in schizophrenia. In a joint analysis with a bipolar disorder sample (16,374 affected individuals and 14,044 controls), three loci reached genome-wide significance: CACNA1C (rs4765905, P = 7.0 × 10(-9)), ANK3 (rs10994359, P = 2.5 × 10(-8)) and the ITIH3-ITIH4 region (rs2239547, P = 7.8 × 10(-9)).