[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The G72/G30 gene complex is a candidate gene for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, G72 and G30 mRNAs are expressed at very low levels in human brain, with only rare splicing forms observed. We report here G72/G30 expression profiles and behavioral changes in a G72/G30 transgenic mouse model. A human BAC clone containing the G72/G30 genomic region was used to establish the transgenic mouse model, on which gene expression studies, western blot and behavioral tests were performed. Relative to their minimal expression in humans, G72 and G30 mRNAs were highly expressed in the transgenic mice, and had a more complex splicing pattern. The highest G72 transcript levels were found in testis, followed by cerebral cortex, with very low or undetectable levels in other tissues. No LG72 (the long putative isoform of G72) protein was detected in the transgenic mice. Whole-genome expression profiling identified 361 genes differentially expressed in transgenic mice compared with wild-type, including genes previously implicated in neurological and psychological disorders. Relative to wild-type mice, the transgenic mice exhibited fewer stereotypic movements in the open field test, higher baseline startle responses in the course of the prepulse inhibition test, and lower hedonic responses in the sucrose preference test. The transcriptome profile changes and multiple mouse behavioral effects suggest that the G72 gene may play a role in modulating behaviors relevant to psychiatric disorders.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 22 January 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.185.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) are highly heritable psychiatric disorders. Associated genetic and gene expression changes have been identified, but many have not been replicated and have unknown functions. We identified groups of genes whose expressions varied together, that is co-expression modules, then tested them for association with SCZ. Using weighted gene co-expression network analysis, we show that two modules were differentially expressed in patients versus controls. One, upregulated in cerebral cortex, was enriched with neuron differentiation and neuron development genes, as well as disease genome-wide association study genetic signals; the second, altered in cerebral cortex and cerebellum, was enriched with genes involved in neuron protection functions. The findings were preserved in five expression data sets, including sets from three brain regions, from a different microarray platform, and from BD patients. From those observations, we propose neuron differentiation and development pathways may be involved in etiologies of both SCZ and BD, and neuron protection function participates in pathological process of the diseases.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 13 November 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.146.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a systematic study of top susceptibility variants from a genome-wide association (GWA) study of bipolar disorder to gain insight into the functional consequences of genetic variation influencing disease risk. We report here the results of experiments to explore the effects of these susceptibility variants on DNA methylation and mRNA expression in human cerebellum samples. Among the top susceptibility variants, we identified an enrichment of cis regulatory loci on mRNA expression (eQTLs), and a significant excess of quantitative trait loci for DNA CpG methylation, hereafter referred to as methylation quantitative trait loci (mQTLs). Bipolar disorder susceptibility variants that cis regulate both cerebellar expression and methylation of the same gene are a very small proportion of bipolar disorder susceptibility variants. This finding suggests that mQTLs and eQTLs provide orthogonal ways of functionally annotating genetic variation within the context of studies of pathophysiology in brain. No lymphocyte mQTL enrichment was found, suggesting that mQTL enrichment was specific to the cerebellum, in contrast to eQTLs. Separately, we found that using mQTL information to restrict the number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms studied enhances our ability to detect a significant association. With this restriction a priori informed by the observed functional enrichment, we identified a significant association (rs12618769, P(bonferroni)<0.05) from two other GWA studies (TGen+GAIN; 2191 cases and 1434 controls) of bipolar disorder, which we replicated in an independent GWA study (WTCCC). Collectively, our findings highlight the importance of integrating functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression and DNA methylation to advance the biological understanding of bipolar disorder.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 3 January 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2011.174.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An overall burden of rare structural genomic variants has not been reported in bipolar disorder (BD), although there have been reports of cases with microduplication and microdeletion. Here, we present a genome-wide copy number variant (CNV) survey of 1001 cases and 1034 controls using the Affymetrix single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 6.0 SNP and CNV platform. Singleton deletions (deletions that appear only once in the dataset) more than 100 kb in length are present in 16.2% of BD cases in contrast to 12.3% of controls (permutation P=0.007). This effect was more pronounced for age at onset of mania <or=18 years old. Our results strongly suggest that BD can result from the effects of multiple rare structural variants.