1Behav. Genet. 2006 Jan 36: 112-26
TitleEndophenotypes successfully lead to gene identification: results from the collaborative study on the genetics of alcoholism.
AbstractThe use of endophenotypes has been proposed as a strategy to aid gene identification efforts for complex phenotypes [Gottesman, I. I., and Shields J. (1972). schizophrenia and Genetics: A Twin Study Vantage Point. London: Academic]. As part of the Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) project, we have analyzed electrophysiological endophenotypes, in addition to clinical diagnoses, as part of our effort to identify genes involved in the predisposition to alcohol dependence. In this paper we summarize published results from linkage and association analyses of two chromosomal regions in which the use of endophenotypes has successfully led to the identification of genes associated with alcohol dependence [GABRA2 (Edenberg et al., (2004). Am. J. Hum. Genet. 74:705-714) and CHRM2 (Wang et al., (2004). Hum. Mol. Genet. 13:1903-1911)]. Our experience in the COGA project has been that the analysis of endophenotypes provides several advantages over diagnostic phenotypes, including the strength and localization of the linkage signal. Our results provide an illustration of the successful use of endophenotypes to identify genes involved in the predisposition to a complex psychiatric phenotype, a strategy originally proposed by Gottesman and Shields in 1972.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2Biol. Psychiatry 2010 Oct 68: 657-66
TitleGenetic associations of brain structural networks in schizophrenia: a preliminary study.
Abstractschizophrenia is a complex genetic disorder, with multiple putative risk genes and many reports of reduced cortical gray matter. Identifying the genetic loci contributing to these structural alterations in schizophrenia (and likely also to normal structural gray matter patterns) could aid understanding of schizophrenia's pathophysiology. We used structural parameters as potential intermediate illness markers to investigate genomic factors derived from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays.
We used research quality structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) scans from European American subjects including 33 healthy control subjects and 18 schizophrenia patients. All subjects were genotyped for 367 SNPs. Linked sMRI and genetic (SNP) components were extracted to reveal relationships between brain structure and SNPs, using parallel independent component analysis, a novel multivariate approach that operates effectively in small sample sizes.
We identified an sMRI component that significantly correlated with a genetic component (r = -.536, p < .00005); components also distinguished groups. In the sMRI component, schizophrenia gray matter deficits were in brain regions consistently implicated in previous reports, including frontal and temporal lobes and thalamus (p < .01). These deficits were related to SNPs from 16 genes, several previously associated with schizophrenia risk and/or involved in normal central nervous system development, including AKT, PI3K, SLC6A4, DRD2, CHRM2, and ADORA2A.
Despite the small sample size, this novel analysis method identified an sMRI component including brain areas previously reported to be abnormal in schizophrenia and an associated genetic component containing several putative schizophrenia risk genes. Thus, we identified multiple genes potentially underlying specific structural brain abnormalities in schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
3Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 2011 May 35: 963-75
TitleGenomewide association analysis of symptoms of alcohol dependence in the molecular genetics of schizophrenia (MGS2) control sample.
AbstractWhile genetic influences on alcohol dependence (AD) are substantial, progress in the identification of individual genetic variants that impact on risk has been difficult.
We performed a genome-wide association study on 3,169 alcohol consuming subjects from the population-based Molecular Genetics of schizophrenia (MGS2) control sample. Subjects were asked 7 questions about symptoms of AD which were analyzed by confirmatory factor analysis. Genotyping was performed using the Affymetrix 6.0 array. Three sets of analyses were conducted separately for European American (EA, n = 2,357) and African-American (AA, n = 812) subjects: individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), candidate genes and enriched pathways using gene ontology (GO) categories.
The symptoms of AD formed a highly coherent single factor. No SNP approached genome-wide significance. In the EA sample, the most significant intragenic SNP was in KCNMA1, the human homolog of the slo-1 gene in C. Elegans. Genes with clusters of significant SNPs included AKAP9, phosphatidylinositol glycan anchor biosynthesis, class G (PIGG), and KCNMA1. In the AA sample, the most significant intragenic SNP was CEACAM6 and genes showing empirically significant SNPs included KCNQ5, SLC35B4, and MGLL. In the candidate gene based analyses, the most significant findings were with ADH1C, nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells 1 (NFKB1) and ankyrin repeat and kinase domain containing 1 (ANKK1) in the EA sample, and ADH5, POMC, and CHRM2 in the AA sample. The ALIGATOR program identified a significant excess of associated SNPs within and near genes in a substantial number of GO categories over a range of statistical stringencies in both the EA and AA sample.
While we cannot be highly confident about any single result from these analyses, a number of findings were suggestive and worthy of follow-up. Although quite large samples will be needed to obtain requisite power, the study of AD symptoms in general population samples is a viable complement to case-control studies in identifying genetic risk variants for AD.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
4Curr. Mol. Med. 2015 -1 15: 253-64
TitlePossible involvement of muscarinic receptors in psychiatric disorders: a focus on schizophrenia and mood disorders.
AbstractA considerable body of data supports a role for the central cholinergic system in the aetiologies of schizophrenia and mood disorders. There have been breakthroughs in gaining structural data on muscarinic receptors (CHRMs), understanding their role in CNS functioning and in synthesising drugs that can specifically target each of the 5 CHRMs. This means it is opportune to consider the role of specific CHRMs in the pathophysiologies of schizophrenia and mood disorders. This review will focus on data suggesting changes in levels of CHRM1 and CHRM4 implicate these receptors in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia whereas data suggest a role for CHRM2 in mood disorders. There will be a selected reference to recent developments in understanding the roles of CHRM1, 2 and 4 in CNS function and how these predict mechanisms by which these receptors could induce the symptoms prevalent in schizophrenia and mood disorders. Finally, there will be comments on the potential advantages and problems in targeting CHRM1 and CHRM4 to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and CHRM2 to treat the symptom of depression.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia