1Hum. Mol. Genet. 2008 Feb 17: 458-65
TitleComparative genome hybridization suggests a role for NRXN1 and APBA2 in schizophrenia.
AbstractCopy number variations (CNVs) account for a substantial proportion of human genomic variation, and have been shown to cause neurodevelopmental disorders. We sought to determine the relevance of CNVs to the aetiology of schizophrenia (SZ). Whole-genome, high-resolution, tiling path BAC array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) was employed to test DNA from 93 individuals with DSM-IV SZ. Common DNA copy number changes that are unlikely to be directly pathogenic in SZ were filtered out by comparison to a reference dataset of 372 control individuals analyzed in our laboratory, and a screen against the Database of Genomic Variants. The remaining aberrations were validated with Affymetrix 250K SNP arrays or 244K Agilent oligo-arrays and tested for inheritance from the parents. A total of 13 aberrations satisfied our criteria. Two of them are very likely to be pathogenic. The first one is a deletion at 2p16.3 that was present in an affected sibling and disrupts NRXN1. The second one is a de novo duplication at 15q13.1 spanning APBA2. The proteins of these two genes interact directly and play a role in synaptic development and function. Both genes have been affected by CNVs in patients with autism and mental retardation, but neither has been previously implicated in SZ.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
2Am. J. Hum. Genet. 2008 Oct 83: 504-10
TitleRecurrent CNVs disrupt three candidate genes in schizophrenia patients.
Abstractschizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disease with complex etiology, affecting approximately 1% of the general population. Most genetics studies so far have focused on disease association with common genetic variation, such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), but it has recently become apparent that large-scale genomic copy-number variants (CNVs) are involved in disease development as well. To assess the role of rare CNVs in schizophrenia, we screened 54 patients with deficit schizophrenia using Affymetrix's GeneChip 250K SNP arrays. We identified 90 CNVs in total, 77 of which have been reported previously in unaffected control cohorts. Among the genes disrupted by the remaining rare CNVs are MYT1L, CTNND2, NRXN1, and ASTN2, genes that play an important role in neuronal functioning but--except for NRXN1--have not been associated with schizophrenia before. We studied the occurrence of CNVs at these four loci in an additional cohort of 752 patients and 706 normal controls from The Netherlands. We identified eight additional CNVs, of which the four that affect coding sequences were found only in the patient cohort. Our study supports a role for rare CNVs in schizophrenia susceptibility and identifies at least three candidate genes for this complex disorder.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
3PLoS Genet. 2009 Feb 5: e1000373
TitleA genome-wide investigation of SNPs and CNVs in schizophrenia.
AbstractWe report a genome-wide assessment of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and copy number variants (CNVs) in schizophrenia. We investigated SNPs using 871 patients and 863 controls, following up the top hits in four independent cohorts comprising 1,460 patients and 12,995 controls, all of European origin. We found no genome-wide significant associations, nor could we provide support for any previously reported candidate gene or genome-wide associations. We went on to examine CNVs using a subset of 1,013 cases and 1,084 controls of European ancestry, and a further set of 60 cases and 64 controls of African ancestry. We found that eight cases and zero controls carried deletions greater than 2 Mb, of which two, at 8p22 and 16p13.11-p12.4, are newly reported here. A further evaluation of 1,378 controls identified no deletions greater than 2 Mb, suggesting a high prior probability of disease involvement when such deletions are observed in cases. We also provide further evidence for some smaller, previously reported, schizophrenia-associated CNVs, such as those in NRXN1 and APBA2. We could not provide strong support for the hypothesis that schizophrenia patients have a significantly greater "load" of large (>100 kb), rare CNVs, nor could we find common CNVs that associate with schizophrenia. Finally, we did not provide support for the suggestion that schizophrenia-associated CNVs may preferentially disrupt genes in neurodevelopmental pathways. Collectively, these analyses provide the first integrated study of SNPs and CNVs in schizophrenia and support the emerging view that rare deleterious variants may be more important in schizophrenia predisposition than common polymorphisms. While our analyses do not suggest that implicated CNVs impinge on particular key pathways, we do support the contribution of specific genomic regions in schizophrenia, presumably due to recurrent mutation. On balance, these data suggest that very few schizophrenia patients share identical genomic causation, potentially complicating efforts to personalize treatment regimens.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
4Schizophr Bull 2009 Sep 35: 851-4
TitleNeurexin 1 (NRXN1) deletions in schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
5World J. Biol. Psychiatry 2009 -1 10: 929-35
TitleAssociation of a polymorphism in the NRXN3 gene with the degree of smoking in schizophrenia: a preliminary study.
AbstractWhole genome scan studies have recently identified the NRXN1 and NRXN3 genes as potential contributing factors in the risk for nicotine addiction. We have genotyped 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the NRXN1 and NRXN3 genes in 195 unrelated patients with schizophrenia for whom information about their smoking status and number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) was obtained. The NRXN3 marker rs1004212 was significantly associated with quantity of tobacco smoked. Individuals homozygous for the C allele of rs1004212 smoked more cigarettes per day than heterozygous individuals. We found no significant association of markers within the NRXN1 gene with the risk of smoking or the quantity of tobacco smoked. Because of the relatively small sample size, this is a preliminary study. However, this candidate gene study supports the observations of molecular studies implicating the NRXN genes in drug addiction and suggests that variants in the NRXN3 gene could contribute to the degree of nicotine dependence in patients with schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
6Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 2009 Jun 19: 266-70
TitleSchizophrenia genetics: advancing on two fronts.
AbstractRecent studies have supported the hypothesis that the high heritability of schizophrenia reflects a combination of relatively common alleles of small effect and some rare alleles with relatively large effects. Genome-wide association studies have identified at least one common allele of small effect at ZNF804a, which encodes a putative zinc finger binding protein, as well as possible roles for other loci. The genome-wide studies of at least one class of relatively uncommon variant, submicroscopic chromosomal abnormalities often referred to as copy number variations (CNVs), suggest that these confer high risk of schizophrenia. There is evidence both for an increased burden of CNVs in schizophrenia and that risk is conferred by specific large deletions at 1q21.1 and at 15q13.2 and by deletions of NRXN1 which encodes the synaptic scaffolding protein neurexin 1.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
7Hum. Mol. Genet. 2009 Dec 18: 4650-61
TitleA genome-wide study of common SNPs and CNVs in cognitive performance in the CANTAB.
AbstractPsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are commonly accompanied by cognitive impairments that are treatment resistant and crucial to functional outcome. There has been great interest in studying cognitive measures as endophenotypes for psychiatric disorders, with the hope that their genetic basis will be clearer. To investigate this, we performed a genome-wide association study involving 11 cognitive phenotypes from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. We showed these measures to be heritable by comparing the correlation in 100 monozygotic and 100 dizygotic twin pairs. The full battery was tested in approximately 750 subjects, and for spatial and verbal recognition memory, we investigated a further 500 individuals to search for smaller genetic effects. We were unable to find any genome-wide significant associations with either SNPs or common copy number variants. Nor could we formally replicate any polymorphism that has been previously associated with cognition, although we found a weak signal of lower than expected P-values for variants in a set of 10 candidate genes. We additionally investigated SNPs in genomic loci that have been shown to harbor rare variants that associate with neuropsychiatric disorders, to see if they showed any suggestion of association when considered as a separate set. Only NRXN1 showed evidence of significant association with cognition. These results suggest that common genetic variation does not strongly influence cognition in healthy subjects and that cognitive measures do not represent a more tractable genetic trait than clinical endpoints such as schizophrenia. We discuss a possible role for rare variation in cognitive genomics.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
8Hum. Mol. Genet. 2009 Mar 18: 988-96
TitleDisruption of the neurexin 1 gene is associated with schizophrenia.
AbstractDeletions within the neurexin 1 gene (NRXN1; 2p16.3) are associated with autism and have also been reported in two families with schizophrenia. We examined NRXN1, and the closely related NRXN2 and NRXN3 genes, for copy number variants (CNVs) in 2977 schizophrenia patients and 33 746 controls from seven European populations (Iceland, Finland, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and UK) using microarray data. We found 66 deletions and 5 duplications in NRXN1, including a de novo deletion: 12 deletions and 2 duplications occurred in schizophrenia cases (0.47%) compared to 49 and 3 (0.15%) in controls. There was no common breakpoint and the CNVs varied from 18 to 420 kb. No CNVs were found in NRXN2 or NRXN3. We performed a Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel exact test to estimate association between all CNVs and schizophrenia (P = 0.13; OR = 1.73; 95% CI 0.81-3.50). Because the penetrance of NRXN1 CNVs may vary according to the level of functional impact on the gene, we next restricted the association analysis to CNVs that disrupt exons (0.24% of cases and 0.015% of controls). These were significantly associated with a high odds ratio (P = 0.0027; OR 8.97, 95% CI 1.8-51.9). We conclude that NRXN1 deletions affecting exons confer risk of schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
9Am. J. Hum. Genet. 2009 Nov 85: 655-66
TitleCNTNAP2 and NRXN1 are mutated in autosomal-recessive Pitt-Hopkins-like mental retardation and determine the level of a common synaptic protein in Drosophila.
AbstractHeterozygous copy-number variants and SNPs of CNTNAP2 and NRXN1, two distantly related members of the neurexin superfamily, have been repeatedly associated with a wide spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as developmental language disorders, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. We now identified homozygous and compound-heterozygous deletions and mutations via molecular karyotyping and mutational screening in CNTNAP2 and NRXN1 in four patients with severe mental retardation (MR) and variable features, such as autistic behavior, epilepsy, and breathing anomalies, phenotypically overlapping with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome. With a frequency of at least 1% in our cohort of 179 patients, recessive defects in CNTNAP2 appear to significantly contribute to severe MR. Whereas the established synaptic role of NRXN1 suggests that synaptic defects contribute to the associated neuropsychiatric disorders and to severe MR as reported here, evidence for a synaptic role of the CNTNAP2-encoded protein CASPR2 has so far been lacking. Using Drosophila as a model, we now show that, as known for fly Nrx-I, the CASPR2 ortholog Nrx-IV might also localize to synapses. Overexpression of either protein can reorganize synaptic morphology and induce increased density of active zones, the synaptic domains of neurotransmitter release. Moreover, both Nrx-I and Nrx-IV determine the level of the presynaptic active-zone protein bruchpilot, indicating a possible common molecular mechanism in Nrx-I and Nrx-IV mutant conditions. We therefore propose that an analogous shared synaptic mechanism contributes to the similar clinical phenotypes resulting from defects in human NRXN1 and CNTNAP2.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
10Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 2010 Dec 20: 810-5
TitleThe neurobiology of schizophrenia: new leads and avenues for treatment.
AbstractRecent large-scale genetic studies have provided robust evidence implicating several novel susceptibility genes for schizophrenia. These include ZNF804A, TCF4 and NRGN, which contain common variants that weakly increase schizophrenia susceptibility, and NRXN1, in which rare copy number variants have a greater impact on schizophrenia risk. Investigation of these and other substantiated susceptibility genes are providing valuable insight into the primary neurobiological mechanisms underlying schizophrenia, which may lead to novel therapeutic interventions for the disorder. In the meantime, several novel pharmacological strategies, including activation of mGluRs, elevation of synaptic glycine and inhibition of phosphodiesterase 10A, have recently shown promise for the treatment of schizophrenia in clinical trials.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
11Schizophr Bull 2010 May 36: 443-7
TitleTCF4, schizophrenia, and Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome.
AbstractGenome-wide association studies allied with the identification of rare copy number variants have provided important insights into the genetic risk factors for schizophrenia. Recently, a meta-analysis of several genome-wide association studies found, in addition to several other markers, a single nucleotide polymorphism in intron 4 of the TCF4 gene that was associated with schizophrenia. TCF4 encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that interacts with other transcription factors to activate or repress gene expression. TCF4 mutations also cause Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome, an autosomal-dominant neurodevelopmental disorder associated with severe mental retardation. Variants in the TCF4 gene may therefore be associated with a range of neuropsychiatric phenotypes, including schizophrenia. Recessive forms of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome are caused by mutations in NRXN1 and CNTNAP2. Interestingly, NRXN1 deletions have been reported in schizophrenia, whereas CNTNAP2 variants are associated with several neuropsychiatric phenotypes. These data suggest that TCF4, NRXN1, and CNTNAP2 may participate in a biological pathway that is altered in patients with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
12PLoS ONE 2010 -1 5: e9401
TitleHotspots of large rare deletions in the human genome.
AbstractWe have examined the genomic distribution of large rare autosomal deletions in a sample of 440 parent-parent-child trios from the Quebec founder population (QFP) which was recruited for a study of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
DNA isolated from blood was genotyped on Illumina Hap300 arrays. PennCNV combined with visual evaluation of images generated by the Beadstudio program was used to determine deletion boundary definition of sufficient precision to discern independent events, with near-perfect concordance between parent and child in about 98% of the 399 events detected in the offspring; the remaining 7 deletions were considered de novo. We defined several genomic regions of very high deletion frequency ('hotspots'), usually of 0.4-0.6 Mb in length where independent rare deletions were found at frequencies of up to 100 fold higher than the average for the genome as a whole. Five of the 7 de novo deletions were in these hotspots. The same hotspots were also observed in three other studies on members of the QFP, those with schizophrenia, with endometriosis and those from a longevity cohort.
Nine of the 13 hotspots carry one gene (7 of which are very long), while the rest contain no known genes. All nine genes have been implicated in disease. The patterns of exon deletions support the proposed roles for some of these genes in human disease, such as NRXN1 and PARKIN, and suggest limited roles or no role at all, for others, including MACROD2 and CTNNA3. Our results also offer an alternative interpretation for the observations of deletions in tumors which have been proposed as reflecting tumor-suppressive activity of genes in these hotspots.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
13Hum Psychopharmacol 2010 Nov 25: 582-5
TitleInfluence of neurexin 1 (NRXN1) polymorphisms in clozapine response.
Abstractschizophrenia patients show alterations in the synaptic connectivity. However, it remains unknown whether antipsychotic response may be altered depending on the synaptic connectivity. We tested this association using polymorphisms in the neurexin 1 gene (NRXN1). Large NRXN1 deletions have also been associated with schizophrenia. We genotyped four variants in 140 schizophrenia patients assessed prospectively for clozapine response after 6 months. We observed a trend toward association of clozapine response with the rs12467557 (permuted p?=?0.051). These results should be read with caution before independent replication.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
14Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2010 Nov 260 Suppl 2: S81-9
TitleDifferential expression of presynaptic genes in a rat model of postnatal hypoxia: relevance to schizophrenia.
AbstractObstetric complications play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. However, the biological consequences during neurodevelopment until adulthood are unknown. Microarrays have been used for expression profiling in four brain regions of a rat model of neonatal hypoxia as a common factor of obstetric complications. Animals were repeatedly exposed to chronic hypoxia from postnatal (PD) day 4 through day 8 and killed at the age of 150 days. Additional groups of rats were treated with clozapine from PD 120-150. Self-spotted chips containing 340 cDNAs related to the glutamate system ("glutamate chips") were used. The data show differential (up and down) regulations of numerous genes in frontal (FR), temporal (TE) and parietal cortex (PAR), and in caudate putamen (CPU), but evidently many more genes are upregulated in frontal and temporal cortex, whereas in parietal cortex the majority of genes are downregulated. Because of their primary presynaptic occurrence, five differentially expressed genes (CPX1, NPY, NRXN1, SNAP-25, and STX1A) have been selected for comparisons with clozapine-treated animals by qRT-PCR. Complexin 1 is upregulated in FR and TE cortex but unchanged in PAR by hypoxic treatment. Clozapine downregulates it in FR but upregulates it in PAR cortex. Similarly, syntaxin 1A was upregulated in FR, but downregulated in TE and unchanged in PAR cortex, whereas clozapine downregulated it in FR but upregulated it in PAR cortex. Hence, hypoxia alters gene expression regionally specific, which is in agreement with reports on differentially expressed presynaptic genes in schizophrenia. Chronic clozapine treatment may contribute to normalize synaptic connectivity.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
15Biol. Psychiatry 2010 Feb 67: 283-6
TitleCopy number variation in schizophrenia in the Japanese population.
AbstractCopy number variants (CNVs) have been shown to increase the risk to develop schizophrenia. The best supported findings are at 1q21.1, 15q11.2, 15q13.3, and 22q11.2 and deletions at the gene neurexin 1 (NRXN1).
In this study, we used Affymetrix 5.0 arrays to investigate the role of rare CNVs in 575 patients with schizophrenia and 564 control subjects from Japan.
There was a nonsignificant trend for excess of rare CNVs in schizophrenia (p = .087); however, we did not confirm the previously implicated association for very large CNVs (>500 kilobase [kb]) in this population. We provide support for three previous findings in schizophrenia, as we identified one deletion in a case at 1q21.1, one deletion within NRXN1, and four duplications in cases and one in a control subject at 16p13.1, a locus first implicated in autism and later in schizophrenia.
In this population, we support some of the previous findings in schizophrenia but could not find an increased burden of very large (>500 kb) CNVs, which was proposed recently. However, we provide support for the role of CNVs at 16p13.1, 1q21.1, and NRXN1.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
16Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. 2010 Jun 153B: 937-47
TitleDeletions of NRXN1 (neurexin-1) predispose to a wide spectrum of developmental disorders.
AbstractResearch has implicated mutations in the gene for neurexin-1 (NRXN1) in a variety of conditions including autism, schizophrenia, and nicotine dependence. To our knowledge, there have been no published reports describing the breadth of the phenotype associated with mutations in NRXN1. We present a medical record review of subjects with deletions involving exonic sequences of NRXN1. We ascertained cases from 3,540 individuals referred clinically for comparative genomic hybridization testing from March 2007 to January 2009. Twelve subjects were identified with exonic deletions. The phenotype of individuals with NRXN1 deletion is variable and includes autism spectrum disorders, mental retardation, language delays, and hypotonia. There was a statistically significant increase in NRXN1 deletion in our clinical sample compared to control populations described in the literature (P = 8.9 x 10(-7)). Three additional subjects with NRXN1 deletions and autism were identified through the Homozygosity Mapping Collaborative for Autism, and this deletion segregated with the phenotype. Our study indicates that deletions of NRXN1 predispose to a wide spectrum of developmental disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
17Neurosci. Lett. 2010 May 475: 80-4
TitleRare NRXN1 promoter variants in patients with schizophrenia.
AbstractCopy number variants (CNVs) affecting the neurexin 1 (NRXN1) gene have been found in a subgroup of patients with schizophrenia (SZ). NRXN1 expression is complex, with multiple alternative splice forms generated from two major transcripts; NRXN1alpha and NRXN1beta. The majority of CNVs in SZ are deletions affecting the proximal NRXN1alpha exons and promoter region. Rare chromosomal events are useful in understanding the genetic basis of complex psychiatric disorders since affected genes become feasible targets to analyze for more subtle genetic alterations. As a first step towards this goal, we resequenced the NRXN1alpha promoter region in 170 patients with SZ and a similar number of controls. Two rare mutations were identified in the patient population. One previously unknown single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was found in controls. Bioinformatics analysis suggests that binding to several transcription factors may be affected by the minor alleles. The findings suggest that in addition to chromosomal alterations disrupting the NRXN1alpha promoter, rare point mutations in the region may also be involved in SZ pathogenesis.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
18PLoS ONE 2010 -1 5: e13422
TitleNew copy number variations in schizophrenia.
AbstractGenome-wide screenings for copy number variations (CNVs) in patients with schizophrenia have demonstrated the presence of several CNVs that increase the risk of developing the disease and a growing number of large rare CNVs; the contribution of these rare CNVs to schizophrenia remains unknown. Using Affymetrix 6.0 arrays, we undertook a systematic search for CNVs in 172 patients with schizophrenia and 160 healthy controls, all of Italian origin, with the aim of confirming previously identified loci and identifying novel schizophrenia susceptibility genes. We found five patients with a CNV occurring in one of the regions most convincingly implicated as risk factors for schizophrenia: NRXN1 and the 16p13.1 regions were found to be deleted in single patients and 15q11.2 in 2 patients, whereas the 15q13.3 region was duplicated in one patient. Furthermore, we found three distinct patients with CNVs in 2q12.2, 3q29 and 17p12 loci, respectively. These loci were previously reported to be deleted or duplicated in patients with schizophrenia but were never formally associated with the disease. We found 5 large CNVs (>900 kb) in 4q32, 5q14.3, 8q23.3, 11q25 and 17q12 in five different patients that could include some new candidate schizophrenia susceptibility genes. In conclusion, the identification of previously reported CNVs and of new, rare, large CNVs further supports a model of schizophrenia that includes the effect of multiple, rare, highly penetrant variants.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
19Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. 2010 Jul 153B: 983-93
TitleIntragenic rearrangements in NRXN1 in three families with autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, and speech delay.
AbstractNRXN1 is highly expressed in brain and has been shown recently to be associated with ASD, schizophrenia, cognitive and behavioral abnormalities, and alcohol and nicotine dependence. We present three families, in whom we identified intragenic rearrangements within NRXN1 using a clinical targeted oligonucleotide array CGH. An approximately 380 kb deletion was identified in a woman with Asperger syndrome, anxiety, and depression and in all four of her children affected with autism, anxiety, developmental delay, and speech delay but not in an unaffected child. An approximately 180 kb tandem duplication was found in a patient with autistic disorder and cognitive delays, and in his mother and younger brother who have speech delay. An approximately 330 kb tandem duplication was identified in a patient with autistic features. As predicted by conceptual translation, all three genomic rearrangements led to the premature truncation of NRXN1. Our data support previous observations that NRXN1 may be pathogenic in a wide variety of psychiatric diseases, including autism spectrum disorder, global developmental delay, anxiety, and depression.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
20Mol Autism 2011 -1 2: 9
TitleGene expression analysis in lymphoblasts derived from patients with autism spectrum disorder.
AbstractThe autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex neurodevelopmental disorders that result in severe and pervasive impairment in the development of reciprocal social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication skills. In addition, individuals with ASD have stereotypical behavior, interests and activities. Rare mutations of some genes, such as neuroligin (NLGN) 3/4, neurexin (NRXN) 1, SHANK3, MeCP2 and NHE9, have been reported to be associated with ASD. In the present study, we investigated whether alterations in mRNA expression levels of these genes could be found in lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from patients with ASD.
We measured mRNA expression levels of NLGN3/4, NRXN1, SHANK3, MeCP2, NHE9 and AKT1 in lymphoblastoid cells from 35 patients with ASD and 35 healthy controls, as well as from 45 patients with schizophrenia and 45 healthy controls, using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays.
The mRNA expression levels of NLGN3 and SHANK3 normalized by ?-actin or TBP were significantly decreased in the individuals with ASD compared to controls, whereas no difference was found in the mRNA expression level of MeCP2, NHE9 or AKT1. However, normalized NLGN3 and SHANK3 gene expression levels were not altered in patients with schizophrenia, and expression levels of NLGN4 and NRXN1 mRNA were not quantitatively measurable in lymphoblastoid cells.
Our results provide evidence that the NLGN3 and SHANK3 genes may be differentially expressed in lymphoblastoid cell lines from individuals with ASD compared to those from controls. These findings suggest the possibility that decreased mRNA expression levels of these genes might be involved in the pathophysiology of ASD in a substantial population of ASD patients.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
21Mol. Psychiatry 2011 Jun 16: 585-7
TitleSynaptic modulators Nrxn1 and Nrxn3 are disregulated in a Disc1 mouse model of schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
22Am J Psychiatry 2011 Mar 168: 302-16
TitleCopy number variants in schizophrenia: confirmation of five previous findings and new evidence for 3q29 microdeletions and VIPR2 duplications.
AbstractTo evaluate previously reported associations of copy number variants (CNVs) with schizophrenia and to identify additional associations, the authors analyzed CNVs in the Molecular Genetics of schizophrenia study (MGS) and additional available data.
After quality control, MGS data for 3,945 subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 3,611 screened comparison subjects were available for analysis of rare CNVs (<1% frequency). CNV detection thresholds were chosen that maximized concordance in 151 duplicate assays. Pointwise and genewise analyses were carried out, as well as analyses of previously reported regions. Selected regions were visually inspected and confirmed with quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
In analyses of MGS data combined with other available data sets, odds ratios of 7.5 or greater were observed for previously reported deletions in chromosomes 1q21.1, 15q13.3, and 22q11.21, duplications in 16p11.2, and exon-disrupting deletions in NRXN1. The most consistently supported candidate associations across data sets included a 1.6-Mb deletion in chromosome 3q29 (21 genes, TFRC to BDH1) that was previously described in a mild-moderate mental retardation syndrome, exonic duplications in the gene for vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor 2 (VIPR2), and exonic duplications in C16orf72. The case subjects had a modestly higher genome-wide number of gene-containing deletions (>100 kb and >1 Mb) but not duplications.
The data strongly confirm the association of schizophrenia with 1q21.1, 15q13.3, and 22q11.21 deletions, 16p11.2 duplications, and exonic NRXN1 deletions. These CNVs, as well as 3q29 deletions, are also associated with mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, and epilepsy. Additional candidate genes and regions, including VIPR2, were identified. Study of the mechanisms underlying these associations should shed light on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
23J. Neurogenet. 2011 Oct 25: 88-103
TitleDevelopment of patient-specific neurons in schizophrenia using induced pluripotent stem cells.
AbstractInduced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has the potential to transform regenerative medicine. It also offers a powerful tool for establishing in vitro models of disease, in particular, for neuropsychiatric disorders where live human neurons are essentially impossible to procure. Using iPSCs derived from three schizophrenia (SZ) patients, one of whom has 22q11.2del (velocardiofacial syndrome; VCFS), the authors developed a culture system to study SZ on a molecular and cellular level. SZ iPSCs were differentiated into functional, primarily glutamatergic neurons that were able to fire action potentials after ?8 weeks in culture. Early differentiating neurons expressed a number of transcription factors/chromatin remodeling proteins and synaptic proteins relevant to SZ pathogenesis, including ZNF804A, RELN, CNTNAP2, CTNNA2, SMARCA2, and NRXN1. Although a small number of lines were developed in this preliminary study, the SZ line containing 22q11.2del showed a significant delay in the reduction of endogenous OCT4 and NANOG expression that normally occurs during differentiation. Constitutive expression of OCT4 has been observed in Dgcr8-deficient mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs); DGCR8 maps to the 22q11.2-deleted region. These findings demonstrate that the method of inducing neural differentiation employed is useful for disease modeling in SZ and that the transition of iPSCs with 22q11.2 deletions towards a differentiated state may be marked by subtle changes in expression of pluripotency-associated genes.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
24Curr. Genomics 2011 Nov 12: 516-24
TitleThe shock of the new: progress in schizophrenia genomics.
AbstractA growing list of common and rare genetic risk variants are being implicated in schizophrenia susceptibility. As with other complex genetic disorders most of the variance in genetic risk is still to be attributed. What can be learned from progress to date? The available data challenges how we conceptualize schizophrenia and suggests strong aetiological links with other psychiatric and developmental disorders. With the identification of rare copy number risk variants implicating specific genes (e.g. VIPR2 and NRXN1) it is increasingly possible to investigate molecular aetiology in patient subgroups to establish whether schizophrenia represents one or many different disease processes. This review summarizes recent research progress and suggests how the tools of modern genomics and neuroscience can be applied to best understand this devastating disorder.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
25Transl Psychiatry 2011 -1 1: e25
TitleGenetic regulation of Nrxn1 [corrected] expression: an integrative cross-species analysis of schizophrenia candidate genes.
AbstractNeurexin 1 (NRXN1) is a large presynaptic transmembrane protein that has complex and variable patterns of expression in the brain. Sequence variants in NRXN1 are associated with differences in cognition, and with schizophrenia and autism. The murine NRXN1 gene is also highly polymorphic and is associated with significant variation in expression that is under strong genetic control. Here, we use co-expression analysis, high coverage genomic sequence, and expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping to study the regulation of this gene in the brain. We profiled a family of 72 isogenic progeny strains of a cross between C57BL/6J and DBA/2J (the BXD family) using exon arrays and massively parallel RNA sequencing. Expression of most NRXN1 exons have high genetic correlation (r>0.6) because of the segregation of a common trans eQTL on chromosome (Chr) 8 and a common cis eQTL on Chr 17. These two loci are also linked to murine phenotypes relevant to schizophrenia and to a novel human schizophrenia candidate gene with high neuronal expression (Pleckstrin and Sec7 domain containing 3). In both human and mice, NRXN1 is co-expressed with numerous synaptic and cell signaling genes, and known schizophrenia candidates. Cross-species co-expression and protein interaction network analyses identified glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3B) as one of the most consistent and conserved covariates of NRXN1. By using the Molecular Genetics of schizophrenia data set, we were able to test and confirm that markers in NRXN1 and GSK3B have epistatic interactions in human populations that can jointly modulate risk of schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
26Schizophr. Res. 2011 Apr 127: 35-40
TitleResequencing and follow-up of neurexin 1 (NRXN1) in schizophrenia patients.
AbstractLarge rare deletions in NRXN1 increase the risk for schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to determine whether small rare sequence changes in exons and splice sites contribute to the development of schizophrenia in a high-penetrance manner. Complete coding regions and splice sites were resequenced in 94 patients and 94 controls. Among the 16 rare sequence variants, two missense substitutions (E201G and I1068V) were observed in single patients but not in controls. Investigation of DNA samples from family members and in silico analysis of possible effects on protein function produced no evidence of high-penetrance genetic effects. Follow-up genotyping of the most promising findings (E201G and I1068V) in an independent sample of >1400 patients and >1100 controls revealed no overrepresentation in patients compared to controls (E201G: 0/1 and I1068V: 0/0). Since I1068V was observed in a single patient, it is impossible to exclude the possibility that I1068V makes a minor contribution to schizophrenia susceptibility. Overall, however, the results do not suggest the existence of rare, highly penetrant NRXN1 mutations in patients with schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
27PLoS ONE 2011 -1 6: e23356
TitleRNA-Seq of human neurons derived from iPS cells reveals candidate long non-coding RNAs involved in neurogenesis and neuropsychiatric disorders.
AbstractGenome-wide expression analysis using next generation sequencing (RNA-Seq) provides an opportunity for in-depth molecular profiling of fundamental biological processes, such as cellular differentiation and malignant transformation. Differentiating human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide an ideal system for RNA-Seq since defective neurogenesis caused by abnormalities in transcription factors, DNA methylation, and chromatin modifiers lie at the heart of some neuropsychiatric disorders. As a preliminary step towards applying next generation sequencing using neurons derived from patient-specific iPSCs, we have carried out an RNA-Seq analysis on control human neurons. Dramatic changes in the expression of coding genes, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), pseudogenes, and splice isoforms were seen during the transition from pluripotent stem cells to early differentiating neurons. A number of genes that undergo radical changes in expression during this transition include candidates for schizophrenia (SZ), bipolar disorder (BD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that function as transcription factors and chromatin modifiers, such as POU3F2 and ZNF804A, and genes coding for cell adhesion proteins implicated in these conditions including NRXN1 and NLGN1. In addition, a number of novel lncRNAs were found to undergo dramatic changes in expression, one of which is HOTAIRM1, a regulator of several HOXA genes during myelopoiesis. The increase we observed in differentiating neurons suggests a role in neurogenesis as well. Finally, several lncRNAs that map near SNPs associated with SZ in genome wide association studies also increase during neuronal differentiation, suggesting that these novel transcripts may be abnormally regulated in a subgroup of patients.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
28Hum. Genet. 2011 Oct 130: 563-73
TitleTruncating mutations in NRXN2 and NRXN1 in autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.
AbstractGrowing genetic evidence is converging in favor of common pathogenic mechanisms for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disability (ID or mental retardation) and schizophrenia (SCZ), three neurodevelopmental disorders affecting cognition and behavior. Copy number variations and deleterious mutations in synaptic organizing proteins including NRXN1 have been associated with these neurodevelopmental disorders, but no such associations have been reported for NRXN2 or NRXN3. From resequencing the three neurexin genes in individuals affected by ASD (n = 142), SCZ (n = 143) or non-syndromic ID (n = 94), we identified a truncating mutation in NRXN2 in a patient with ASD inherited from a father with severe language delay and family history of SCZ. We also identified a de novo truncating mutation in NRXN1 in a patient with SCZ, and other potential pathogenic ASD mutations. These truncating mutations result in proteins that fail to promote synaptic differentiation in neuron coculture and fail to bind either of the established postsynaptic binding partners LRRTM2 or NLGN2 in cell binding assays. Our findings link NRXN2 disruption to the pathogenesis of ASD for the first time and further strengthen the involvement of NRXN1 in SCZ, supporting the notion of a common genetic mechanism in these disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
29Behav Brain Funct 2011 -1 7: 7
TitleA case-control association study of NRXN1 polymorphisms with schizophrenia in Chinese Han population.
AbstractRecent research has implicated that mutations in the neurexin-1 (NRXN1) gene on chromosome 2p16.3 might play a role in schizophrenia, autism, and nicotine dependence. In order to explore the association of NRXN1 polymorphisms with schizophrenia, we made a case-control association study in Chinese Han population.
We examined six tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning 116.7 kb of NRXN1 in 768 schizophrenic patients and 738 healthy control subjects. The association of NRXN1 polymorphisms with schizophrenia and the age-at-onset of this disease were explored.
Our results showed that four SNPs of NRXN1 gene were significantly associated with schizophrenia (rs10490168: G > A, p = 0.017; rs2024513: A > G, p = 0.006; rs13382584: T > C, p = 0.009; and rs1558852: G > A, p = 0.031). Furthermore, the association of SNP rs2024513 with schizophrenia remained significance after the Bonferroni correction. Haplotypes consisting of above six SNPs also showed significantly associated with schizophrenia (global chi-square = 14.725, p = 0.022). A protective haplotype AGTGCA remained associated with schizophrenia, even after 10,000 permutation tests (empirical p-value = 0.043). However, we did not find any association with age-at-onset of schizophrenia with NRXN1 polymorphisms.
Our findings suggest that NRXN1 might represent a major susceptibility gene for schizophrenia in Chinese Han population.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
30Behav Brain Funct 2011 -1 7: 7
TitleA case-control association study of NRXN1 polymorphisms with schizophrenia in Chinese Han population.
AbstractRecent research has implicated that mutations in the neurexin-1 (NRXN1) gene on chromosome 2p16.3 might play a role in schizophrenia, autism, and nicotine dependence. In order to explore the association of NRXN1 polymorphisms with schizophrenia, we made a case-control association study in Chinese Han population.
We examined six tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning 116.7 kb of NRXN1 in 768 schizophrenic patients and 738 healthy control subjects. The association of NRXN1 polymorphisms with schizophrenia and the age-at-onset of this disease were explored.
Our results showed that four SNPs of NRXN1 gene were significantly associated with schizophrenia (rs10490168: G > A, p = 0.017; rs2024513: A > G, p = 0.006; rs13382584: T > C, p = 0.009; and rs1558852: G > A, p = 0.031). Furthermore, the association of SNP rs2024513 with schizophrenia remained significance after the Bonferroni correction. Haplotypes consisting of above six SNPs also showed significantly associated with schizophrenia (global chi-square = 14.725, p = 0.022). A protective haplotype AGTGCA remained associated with schizophrenia, even after 10,000 permutation tests (empirical p-value = 0.043). However, we did not find any association with age-at-onset of schizophrenia with NRXN1 polymorphisms.
Our findings suggest that NRXN1 might represent a major susceptibility gene for schizophrenia in Chinese Han population.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
31Schizophr. Res. 2011 Nov 132: 121-4
TitleThe putative functional rs1045881 marker of neurexin-1 in schizophrenia and clozapine response.
AbstractNeurexin-1 (NRXN1) modulates recruitment of NMDA receptors. Furthermore, clozapine reduces hyperactivity of NMDA receptors. Thus, regulation of the NRXN1 gene may mediate the efficacy of clozapine at reducing cortical hyperactivity. We examined the putative functional SNP, rs1045881, for association with schizophrenia, and the potential role of this SNP in clozapine response. The rs1045881 variant was not significantly associated with schizophrenia (N=302 case-control pairs), but with clozapine response (N=163; p=0.030). Baseline and BPRS scores after six months revealed a trend for rs1045881 genotype by treatment interaction (p=0.079). In the post hoc analysis, a significant association between BPRS negative symptoms score and genotype was observed (p=0.033). These results suggest that the rs1045881 NRXN1 polymorphism may influence clozapine response.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
32BMC Med. Genet. 2011 -1 12: 106
TitleExpanding the clinical spectrum associated with defects in CNTNAP2 and NRXN1.
AbstractHeterozygous copy-number and missense variants in CNTNAP2 and NRXN1 have repeatedly been associated with a wide spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders such as developmental language and autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy and schizophrenia. Recently, homozygous or compound heterozygous defects in either gene were reported as causative for severe intellectual disability.
99 patients with severe intellectual disability and resemblance to Pitt-Hopkins syndrome and/or suspected recessive inheritance were screened for mutations in CNTNAP2 and NRXN1. Molecular karyotyping was performed in 45 patients. In 8 further patients with variable intellectual disability and heterozygous deletions in either CNTNAP2 or NRXN1, the remaining allele was sequenced.
By molecular karyotyping and mutational screening of CNTNAP2 and NRXN1 in a group of severely intellectually disabled patients we identified a heterozygous deletion in NRXN1 in one patient and heterozygous splice-site, frameshift and stop mutations in CNTNAP2 in four patients, respectively. Neither in these patients nor in eight further patients with heterozygous deletions within NRXN1 or CNTNAP2 we could identify a defect on the second allele. One deletion in NRXN1 and one deletion in CNTNAP2 occurred de novo, in another family the deletion was also identified in the mother who had learning difficulties, and in all other tested families one parent was shown to be healthy carrier of the respective deletion or mutation.
We report on patients with heterozygous defects in CNTNAP2 or NRXN1 associated with severe intellectual disability, which has only been reported for recessive defects before. These results expand the spectrum of phenotypic severity in patients with heterozygous defects in either gene. The large variability between severely affected patients and mildly affected or asymptomatic carrier parents might suggest the presence of a second hit, not necessarily located in the same gene.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
33BMC Med. Genet. 2011 -1 12: 154
TitleHigh frequency of known copy number abnormalities and maternal duplication 15q11-q13 in patients with combined schizophrenia and epilepsy.
AbstractMany copy number variants (CNVs) are documented to be associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including intellectual disability, autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Chromosomal deletions of 1q21.1, 3q29, 15q13.3, 22q11.2, and NRXN1 and duplications of 15q11-q13 (maternal), 16p11, and 16p13.3 have the strongest association with schizophrenia. We hypothesized that cases with both schizophrenia and epilepsy would have a higher frequency of disease-associated CNVs and would represent an enriched sample for detection of other mutations associated with schizophrenia.
We used array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to analyze 235 individuals with both schizophrenia and epilepsy, 80 with bipolar disorder and epilepsy, and 191 controls.
We detected 10 schizophrenia plus epilepsy cases in 235 (4.3%) with the above mentioned CNVs compared to 0 in 191 controls (p = 0.003). Other likely pathological findings in schizophrenia plus epilepsy cases included 1 deletion 16p13 and 1 duplication 7q11.23 for a total of 12/235 (5.1%) while a possibly pathogenic duplication of 22q11.2 was found in one control for a total of 1 in 191 (0.5%) controls (p = 0.008). The rate of abnormality in the schizophrenia plus epilepsy of 10/235 for the more definite CNVs compares to a rate of 75/7336 for these same CNVs in a series of unselected schizophrenia cases (p = 0.0004).
We found a statistically significant increase in the frequency of CNVs known or likely to be associated with schizophrenia in individuals with both schizophrenia and epilepsy compared to controls. We found an overall 5.1% detection rate of likely pathological findings which is the highest frequency of such findings in a series of schizophrenia patients to date. This evidence suggests that the frequency of disease-associated CNVs in patients with both schizophrenia and epilepsy is significantly higher than for unselected schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
34PLoS ONE 2011 -1 6: e20982
TitleNeurexin-1 and frontal lobe white matter: an overlapping intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders.
AbstractStructural variation in the neurexin-1 (NRXN1) gene increases risk for both autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia. However, the manner in which NRXN1 gene variation may be related to brain morphology to confer risk for ASD or schizophrenia is unknown.
53 healthy individuals between 18-59 years of age were genotyped at 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms of the NRXN1 gene. All subjects received structural MRI scans, which were processed to determine cortical gray and white matter lobar volumes, and volumes of striatal and thalamic structures. Each subject's sensorimotor function was also assessed. The general linear model was used to calculate the influence of genetic variation on neural and cognitive phenotypes. Finally, in silico analysis was conducted to assess potential functional relevance of any polymorphisms associated with brain measures. A polymorphism located in the 3' untranslated region of NRXN1 significantly influenced white matter volumes in whole brain and frontal lobes after correcting for total brain volume, age and multiple comparisons. Follow-up in silico analysis revealed that this SNP is a putative microRNA binding site that may be of functional significance in regulating NRXN1 expression. This variant also influenced sensorimotor performance, a neurocognitive function impaired in both ASD and schizophrenia.
Our findings demonstrate that the NRXN1 gene, a vulnerability gene for SCZ and ASD, influences brain structure and cognitive function susceptible in both disorders. In conjunction with our in silico results, our findings provide evidence for a neural and cognitive susceptibility mechanism by which the NRXN1 gene confers risk for both schizophrenia and ASD.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
35Mol. Psychiatry 2011 Mar 16: 286-92
TitleMolecular pathways involved in neuronal cell adhesion and membrane scaffolding contribute to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder susceptibility.
AbstractSusceptibility to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may involve a substantial, shared contribution from thousands of common genetic variants, each of small effect. Identifying whether risk variants map to specific molecular pathways is potentially biologically informative. We report a molecular pathway analysis using the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) ratio test, which compares the ratio of nominally significant (P<0.05) to nonsignificant SNPs in a given pathway to identify the 'enrichment' for association signals. We applied this approach to the discovery (the International schizophrenia Consortium (n=6909)) and validation (Genetic Association Information Network (n=2729)) of schizophrenia genome-wide association study (GWAS) data sets. We investigated each of the 212 experimentally validated pathways described in the Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes in the discovery sample. Nominally significant pathways were tested in the validation sample, and five pathways were found to be significant (P=0.03-0.001); only the cell adhesion molecule (CAM) pathway withstood conservative correction for multiple testing. Interestingly, this pathway was also significantly associated with bipolar disorder (Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (n=4847)) (P=0.01). At a gene level, CAM genes associated in all three samples (NRXN1 and CNTNAP2), which were previously implicated in specific language disorder, autism and schizophrenia. The CAM pathway functions in neuronal cell adhesion, which is critical for synaptic formation and normal cell signaling. Similar pathways have also emerged from a pathway analysis of autism, suggesting that mechanisms involved in neuronal cell adhesion may contribute broadly to neurodevelopmental psychiatric phenotypes.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
36PLoS ONE 2012 -1 7: e44017
TitleAllele-biased expression in differentiating human neurons: implications for neuropsychiatric disorders.
AbstractStochastic processes and imprinting, along with genetic factors, lead to monoallelic or allele-biased gene expression. Stochastic monoallelic expression fine-tunes information processing in immune cells and the olfactory system, and imprinting plays an important role in development. Recent studies suggest that both stochastic events and imprinting may be more widespread than previously considered. We are interested in allele-biased gene expression occurring in the brain because parent-of-origin effects suggestive of imprinting appear to play a role in the transmission of schizophrenia (SZ) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in some families. In addition, allele-biased expression could help explain monozygotic (MZ) twin discordance and reduced penetrance. The ability to study allele-biased expression in human neurons has been transformed with the advent of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology and next generation sequencing. Using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) we identified 801 genes in differentiating neurons that were expressed in an allele-biased manner. These included a number of putative SZ and ASD candidates, such as A2BP1 (RBFOX1), ERBB4, NLGN4X, NRG1, NRG3, NRXN1, and NLGN1. Overall, there was a modest enrichment for SZ and ASD candidate genes among those that showed evidence for allele-biased expression (chi-square, p = 0.02). In addition to helping explain MZ twin discordance and reduced penetrance, the capacity to group many candidate genes affecting a variety of molecular and cellular pathways under a common regulatory process - allele-biased expression - could have therapeutic implications.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
37Clin. Genet. 2012 Feb 81: 103-9
TitleRecent genomic advances in schizophrenia.
AbstractRecent studies have supported the hypothesis based upon expectations from population genetics that the high heritability of schizophrenia reflects a combination of relatively common alleles of small effect and rare alleles some with relatively large effects. Genome-wide association studies have identified a number of risk loci at genome-wide levels of significance as well as evidence for a substantial burden of common risk loci. Moreover these recent findings suggest genetic overlap with bipolar disorder which has traditionally been assumed to be genetically distinct from schizophrenia. Genome-wide studies of at least one class of relatively uncommon variant, submicroscopic chromosomal abnormalities often referred to as copy number variations (CNVs), suggest that these confer high risk of schizophrenia. There is evidence both for an increased burden of large, rare CNVs in schizophrenia and that risk is conferred by a number of specific large CNVs as well as by deletions of NRXN1 which encodes the synaptic scaffolding protein neurexin 1. Many of these CNVs have been implicated in autism, mental retardation, epilepsy and other neurodevelopment disorders. These findings have implications for pathogenesis and nosology of schizophrenia and related disorders, and for future genetic studies.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
38Am J Psychiatry 2012 Sep 169: 963-73
TitleGenome-wide association study of multiplex schizophrenia pedigrees.
AbstractThe authors used a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of multiply affected families to investigate the association of schizophrenia to common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and rare copy number variants (CNVs).
The family sample included 2,461 individuals from 631 pedigrees (581 in the primary European-ancestry analyses). Association was tested for single SNPs and genetic pathways. Polygenic scores based on family study results were used to predict case-control status in the schizophrenia Psychiatric GWAS Consortium (PGC) data set, and consistency of direction of effect with the family study was determined for top SNPs in the PGC GWAS analysis. Within-family segregation was examined for schizophrenia-associated rare CNVs.
No genome-wide significant associations were observed for single SNPs or for pathways. PGC case and control subjects had significantly different genome-wide polygenic scores (computed by weighting their genotypes by log-odds ratios from the family study) (best p=10(-17), explaining 0.4% of the variance). Family study and PGC analyses had consistent directions for 37 of the 58 independent best PGC SNPs (p=0.024). The overall frequency of CNVs in regions with reported associations with schizophrenia (chromosomes 1q21.1, 15q13.3, 16p11.2, and 22q11.2 and the neurexin-1 gene [NRXN1]) was similar to previous case-control studies. NRXN1 deletions and 16p11.2 duplications (both of which were transmitted from parents) and 22q11.2 deletions (de novo in four cases) did not segregate with schizophrenia in families.
Many common SNPs are likely to contribute to schizophrenia risk, with substantial overlap in genetic risk factors between multiply affected families and cases in large case-control studies. Our findings are consistent with a role for specific CNVs in disease pathogenesis, but the partial segregation of some CNVs with schizophrenia suggests that researchers should exercise caution in using them for predictive genetic testing until their effects in diverse populations have been fully studied.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
39Eur. J. Hum. Genet. 2012 Dec 20: 1240-7
TitlePhenotypic spectrum and genotype-phenotype correlations of NRXN1 exon deletions.
AbstractCopy number variants (CNVs) and intragenic rearrangements of the NRXN1 (neurexin 1) gene are associated with a wide spectrum of developmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, including intellectual disability, speech delay, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), hypotonia and schizophrenia. We performed a detailed clinical and molecular characterization of 24 patients who underwent clinical microarray analysis and had intragenic deletions of NRXN1. Seventeen of these deletions involved exons of NRXN1, whereas seven deleted intronic sequences only. The patients with exonic deletions manifested developmental delay/intellectual disability (93%), infantile hypotonia (59%) and ASDs (56%). Congenital malformations and dysmorphic features appeared infrequently and inconsistently among this population of patients with NRXN1 deletions. The more C-terminal deletions, including those affecting the ? isoform of neurexin 1, manifested increased head size and a high frequency of seizure disorder (88%) when compared with N-terminal deletions of NRXN1.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
40Prog. Neurobiol. 2012 Oct 99: 81-91
TitleCopy number variations in neurodevelopmental disorders.
AbstractCommon neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism, speech and language delay, schizophrenia, epilepsy and intellectual disability) have complex aetiology, which is predominantly genomic, but also environmental in origin. They share a paradox, in that high heritability is matched by lowered fecundity, placing them under negative genetic selection. This implicates variants of recent origin, such as de novo mutations or common, very low-risk polymorphisms that escape negative selection. High or moderate risk variants have been discovered by chromosome analysis, genome sequencing and copy number variant (CNV) detection, including a 3Mb deletion causing 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome) that has penetrance of up to 50% for schizophrenia. More recently, rare, recurrent and often de novo pathogenic CNVs, including deletions at NRXN1, 1q21.2, 15q11.2 and 15q13.3, 16p11.2 and duplications at VIPR2 and 16p13.11, have also been discovered. These have several unique features that differentiate them from Mendelian disease mutations in that they have incomplete penetrance, with moderate-to-high odds ratios for risk, and show diagnostic pleiotropy, increasing risk across the neurodevelopmental disorder spectrum. Some are also syndromic, with characteristic features such as facial dysmorphology, and other specific risks such as aortic dissection or obesity, implying that they might be better classified as distinct diagnoses. The discovery of pathogenic CNVs provide new opportunities for translation leading to patent benefit, including improvements in clinical genetic diagnosis and genetic counselling, the possibility of clinician decision-making tools for risk prediction, and the identification of drug targets and implementation of personalised medicine using stratification by genotype.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
41Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. 2012 Apr 159B: 354-8
TitleMutations in NRXN1 in a family multiply affected with brain disorders: NRXN1 mutations and brain disorders.
AbstractMutation of the neurexin1-gene, NRXN1, interrupting the expression of neurexin1 has been associated with schizophrenia, autism, and intellectual disability. We have identified a family multiply affected with psychiatric, neurological, and somatic disorders along with an intricate co-segregation of NRXN1 mutations. The proband suffered from autism, mental retardation, and epilepsy and on genotyping it was revealed that he carried a compound heterozygous mutation in the NRXN1 consisting of a 451?kb deletion, affecting the promoter and first introns in addition to a point mutation, predicted to be deleterious to NRXN1. The deletion was passed on from the patient's mother who was clinically characterized by sub-diagnostic autistic traits in addition to type 1 diabetes mellitus. The point mutation was subsequently found in the patient's brother, suffering from a psychotic disorder, which implies that the point mutation was inherited from the deceased father, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The observations suggest a possible gene-dose effect of NRXN1 mutations on type and severity of mental illness and support the notion that the penetrance and pleiotropy of pathogenic CNVs in general are determined by additional genetic variants in the genome. Finally the findings also propose a linkage of NRXN1 neurobiology to epilepsy and possibly to type 1 diabetes.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
42Methods Mol. Biol. 2012 -1 838: 115-35
TitleDetection and characterization of copy number variation in autism spectrum disorder.
AbstractThere now exist multiple lines of evidence pointing to a significant genetic component underlying the aetiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The advent of methodologies for scanning the human genome at high resolution, coupled with the recognition of copy number variation (CNV) as a prevalent source of genomic variation, has led to new strategies in the identification of clinically relevant loci. Balanced genomic changes, such as translocations and inversions, also contribute to ASD, but current studies have shown that screening with microarrays has up to fivefold increase in diagnostic yield. Recent work by our group and others has shown unbalanced genomic alterations that are likely pathogenic in upwards of 10% of cases, highlighting an important role for CNVs in the genetic aetiology of ASD. A trend in our empirical data has shifted focus for discovery of candidate loci towards individually rare but highly penetrant CNVs instead of looking for common variants of low penetrance. This strategy has proven largely successful in identifying ASD-susceptibility candidate loci, including gains and losses at 16p11.2, SHANK2, NRXN1, and PTCHD1. Another emerging and intriguing trend is the identification of the same genes implicated by rare CNVs across neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and intellectual disability. These observations indicate that similar pathways may be involved in phenotypically distinct outcomes. Although interrogation of the genome at high resolution has led to these novel discoveries, it has also made cataloguing, characterization, and clinical interpretation of the increasing amount of CNV data difficult. Herein, we describe the history of genomic structural variation in ASD and how CNV discovery has been used to pinpoint novel ASD-susceptibility loci. We also discuss the overlap of CNVs across neurodevelopmental disorders and comment on the current challenges of understanding the relationship between CNVs and associated phenotypes in a clinical context.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
43World J Psychiatry 2013 Sep 3: 57-61
TitleNew findings in the genetics of schizophrenia.
AbstractNew findings in schizophrenia genetics are based on genome-wide association studies (GWAS), research into DNA copy number variations (CNVs), and endophenotypes. More than 70 genes have recently been suspected to be involved in the genetic background of schizophrenia based on the GWASs results. They are typically related to neurodevelopment/neuroplasticity, immunology and neuroendocrinology. Nevertheless, for many detected genes their possible relationship to schizophrenia etiopathogenesis is still unknown. The CNVs at genome loci 1q21.1 (candidate gene e.g., PRKAB2), 2p16.3 (candidate gene e.g., NRXN1), 3q29 (candidate genes e.g., BDH1, DLG1, PAK2 or TFRC), 15q11.2 (candidate gene e.g., CYFIP1), 15q13.3 (candidate gene e.g., CHRNA7), 16p13.1 (candidate genes e.g.,NTAN1 or NDE1) and 22q11.2 (candidate genes e.g., COMT, GSTT2 or PRODH) were associated with schizophrenia most frequently. Genetic research of schizophrenia endophenotypes, usually neurophysiological, neuromotoric, neurocognitive, neuroanatomical, neurological or personality-related, will help us to discover the role of relevant genes in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. It is also necessary to integrate knowledge from other research platforms in schizophrenia, like epigenetics, studies of gene-environment interactions, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, neuroimaging and psychopathology. A better knowledge of the genetic background of schizophrenia can lead to changes in the treatment, prevention and genetic counselling. It may also reduce stigma in this severe mental disorder.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
44Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. 2013 Apr 162B: 273-82
TitleIdentification of rare copy number variants in high burden schizophrenia families.
AbstractOver the last years, genome-wide studies consistently showed an increased burden of rare copy number variants (CNVs) in schizophrenia patients, supporting the "common disease, rare variant" hypothesis in at least a subset of patients. We hypothesize that in families with a high burden of disease, and thus probably a high genetic load influencing disease susceptibility, rare CNVs might be involved in the etiology of schizophrenia. We performed a genome-wide CNV analysis in the index patients of eight families with multiple schizophrenia affected members, and consecutively performed a detailed family analysis for the most relevant CNVs. One index patient showed a DRD5 containing duplication. A second index patient presented with an NRXN1 containing deletion and two adjacent duplications containing MYT1L and SNTG2. Detailed analysis in the subsequent families showed segregation of the identified CNVs. With this study we show the importance of screening high burden families for rare CNVs, which will not only broaden our knowledge concerning the molecular genetic mechanisms involved in schizophrenia but also allow the use of the obtained genetic data to provide better clinical care to these families in general and to non-symptomatic causal CNV carriers in particular.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
45PLoS ONE 2013 -1 8: e59061
TitleCNV analysis in Tourette syndrome implicates large genomic rearrangements in COL8A1 and NRXN1.
AbstractTourette syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder with a strong genetic component. However, the genetic architecture of TS remains uncertain. Copy number variation (CNV) has been shown to contribute to the genetic make-up of several neurodevelopmental conditions, including schizophrenia and autism. Here we describe CNV calls using SNP chip genotype data from an initial sample of 210 TS cases and 285 controls ascertained in two Latin American populations. After extensive quality control, we found that cases (N?=?179) have a significant excess (P?=?0.006) of large CNV (>500 kb) calls compared to controls (N?=?234). Amongst 24 large CNVs seen only in the cases, we observed four duplications of the COL8A1 gene region. We also found two cases with ?400 kb deletions involving NRXN1, a gene previously implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including TS. Follow-up using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (and including 53 more TS cases) validated the CNV calls and identified additional patients with rearrangements in COL8A1 and NRXN1, but none in controls. Examination of available parents indicates that two out of three NRXN1 deletions detected in the TS cases are de-novo mutations. Our results are consistent with the proposal that rare CNVs play a role in TS aetiology and suggest a possible role for rearrangements in the COL8A1 and NRXN1 gene regions.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
46PLoS ONE 2013 -1 8: e59685
TitleFunctional impacts of NRXN1 knockdown on neurodevelopment in stem cell models.
AbstractExonic deletions in NRXN1 have been associated with several neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, schizophrenia and developmental delay. However, the molecular mechanism by which NRXN1 deletions impact neurodevelopment remains unclear. Here we used human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) as models to investigate the functional impacts of NRXN1 knockdown. We first generated hiPSCs from skin fibroblasts and differentiated them into neural stem cells (NSCs). We reduced NRXN1 expression in NSCs via a controlled shRNAmir-based knockdown system during differentiation, and monitored the transcriptome alteration by RNA-Seq and quantitative PCR at several time points. Interestingly, half reduction of NRXN1 expression resulted in changes of expression levels for the cell adhesion pathway (20 genes, P?=?2.810(-6)) and neuron differentiation pathway (13 genes, P?=?2.110(-4)), implicating that single-gene perturbation can impact biological networks important for neurodevelopment. Furthermore, astrocyte marker GFAP was significantly reduced in a time dependent manner that correlated with NRXN1 reduction. This observation was reproduced in both hiPSCs and hESCs. In summary, based on in vitro models, NRXN1 deletions impact several biological processes during neurodevelopment, including synaptic adhesion and neuron differentiation. Our study highlights the utility of stem cell models in understanding the functional roles of copy number variations (CNVs) in conferring susceptibility to neurodevelopmental diseases.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
47PLoS ONE 2013 -1 8: e67114
TitleAltered social behaviours in neurexin 1? knockout mice resemble core symptoms in neurodevelopmental disorders.
AbstractCopy number variants have emerged as an important genomic cause of common, complex neurodevelopmental disorders. These usually change copy number of multiple genes, but deletions at 2p16.3, which have been associated with autism, schizophrenia and mental retardation, affect only the neurexin 1 gene, usually the alpha isoform. Previous analyses of neurexin 1? (NRXN1?) knockout (KO) mouse as a model of these disorders have revealed impairments in synaptic transmission but failed to reveal defects in social behaviour, one of the core symptoms of autism.
We performed a detailed investigation of the behavioural effects of NRXN1? deletion in mice bred onto a pure genetic background (C57BL/6J) to gain a better understanding of its role in neurodevelopmental disorders. Wildtype, heterozygote and homozygote NRXN1? KO male and female mice were tested in a battery of behavioural tests (n?=?9-16 per genotype, per sex).
In homozygous NRXN1? KO mice, we observed altered social approach, reduced social investigation, and reduced locomotor activity in novel environments. In addition, male NRXN1? KO mice demonstrated an increase in aggressive behaviours.
These are the first experimental data that associate a deletion of NRXN1? with alterations of social behaviour in mice. Since this represents one of the core symptom domains affected in autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia in humans, our findings suggest that deletions within NRXN1 found in patients may be responsible for the impairments seen in social behaviours, and that the NRXN1? KO mice are a useful model of human neurodevelopmental disorder.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
48Hum. Mol. Genet. 2013 May 22: 2055-66
TitleRare exonic deletions implicate the synaptic organizer Gephyrin (GPHN) in risk for autism, schizophrenia and seizures.
AbstractThe GPHN gene codes for gephyrin, a key scaffolding protein in the neuronal postsynaptic membrane, responsible for the clustering and localization of glycine and GABA receptors at inhibitory synapses. Gephyrin has well-established functional links with several synaptic proteins that have been implicated in genetic risk for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia and epilepsy including the neuroligins (NLGN2, NLGN4), the neurexins (NRXN1, NRXN2, NRXN3) and collybistin (ARHGEF9). Moreover, temporal lobe epilepsy has been linked to abnormally spliced GPHN mRNA lacking exons encoding the G-domain of the gephyrin protein, potentially arising due to cellular stress associated with epileptogenesis such as temperature and alkalosis. Here, we present clinical and genomic characterization of six unrelated subjects, with a range of neurodevelopmental diagnoses including ASD, schizophrenia or seizures, who possess rare de novo or inherited hemizygous microdeletions overlapping exons of GPHN at chromosome 14q23.3. The region of common overlap across the deletions encompasses exons 3-5, corresponding to the G-domain of the gephyrin protein. These findings, together with previous reports of homozygous GPHN mutations in connection with autosomal recessive molybdenum cofactor deficiency, will aid in clinical genetic interpretation of the GPHN mutation spectrum. Our data also add to the accumulating evidence implicating neuronal synaptic gene products as key molecular factors underlying the etiologies of a diverse range of neurodevelopmental conditions.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
49Am. J. Med. Genet. A 2013 Apr 161A: 717-31
TitleInvestigation of NRXN1 deletions: clinical and molecular characterization.
AbstractDeletions at 2p16.3 involving exons of NRXN1 are associated with susceptibility for autism and schizophrenia, and similar deletions have been identified in individuals with developmental delay and dysmorphic features. We have identified 34 probands with exonic NRXN1 deletions following referral for clinical microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization. To more firmly establish the full phenotypic spectrum associated with exonic NRXN1 deletions, we report the clinical features of 27 individuals with NRXN1 deletions, who represent 23 of these 34 families. The frequency of exonic NRXN1 deletions among our postnatally diagnosed patients (0.11%) is significantly higher than the frequency among reported controls (0.02%; P = 6.08 10(-7) ), supporting a role for these deletions in the development of abnormal phenotypes. Generally, most individuals with NRXN1 exonic deletions have developmental delay (particularly speech), abnormal behaviors, and mild dysmorphic features. In our cohort, autism spectrum disorders were diagnosed in 43% (10/23), and 16% (4/25) had epilepsy. The presence of NRXN1 deletions in normal parents and siblings suggests reduced penetrance and/or variable expressivity, which may be influenced by genetic, environmental, and/or stochastic factors. The pathogenicity of these deletions may also be affected by the location of the deletion within the gene. Counseling should appropriately represent this spectrum of possibilities when discussing recurrence risks or expectations for a child found to have a deletion in NRXN1.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
50J Mol Psychiatry 2013 -1 1: 4
TitleNRXN1 deletions identified by array comparative genome hybridisation in a clinical case series - further understanding of the relevance of NRXN1 to neurodevelopmental disorders.
AbstractMicrodeletions in the NRXN1 gene have been associated with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, intellectual disability, speech and language delay, epilepsy and hypotonia.
In the present study we performed array CGH analysis on 10,397 individuals referred for diagnostic cytogenetic analysis, using a custom oligonucleotide array, which included 215 NRXN1 probes (median spacing 4.9kb). We found 34 NRXN1 deletions (0.33% of referrals) ranging from 9 to 942kb in size, of which 18 were exonic (0.17%). Three deletions affected exons also in the beta isoform of NRXN1. No duplications were found. Patients had a range of phenotypes including developmental delay, learning difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, speech delay, social communication difficulties, epilepsy, behaviour problems and microcephaly. Five patients who had deletions in NRXN1 had a second CNV implicated in neurodevelopmental disorder: a CNTNAP2 and CSMD3 deletion in patients with exonic NRXN1 deletions, and a Williams-Beuren syndrome deletion and two 22q11.2 duplications in patients with intronic NRXN1 deletions.
Exonic deletions in the NRXN1 gene, predominantly affecting the alpha isoform, were found in patients with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders referred for diagnostic cytogenetic analysis. The targeting of dense oligonucleotide probes to the NRXN1 locus on array comparative hybridisation platforms provides detailed characterisation of deletions in this gene, and is likely to add to understanding of the importance of NRXN1 in neural development.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
51Schizophr Bull 2014 Nov 40: 1285-99
TitleSystematic prioritization and integrative analysis of copy number variations in schizophrenia reveal key schizophrenia susceptibility genes.
Abstractschizophrenia is a common mental disorder with high heritability and strong genetic heterogeneity. Common disease-common variants hypothesis predicts that schizophrenia is attributable in part to common genetic variants. However, recent studies have clearly demonstrated that copy number variations (CNVs) also play pivotal roles in schizophrenia susceptibility and explain a proportion of missing heritability. Though numerous CNVs have been identified, many of the regions affected by CNVs show poor overlapping among different studies, and it is not known whether the genes disrupted by CNVs contribute to the risk of schizophrenia. By using cumulative scoring, we systematically prioritized the genes affected by CNVs in schizophrenia. We identified 8 top genes that are frequently disrupted by CNVs, including NRXN1, CHRNA7, BCL9, CYFIP1, GJA8, NDE1, SNAP29, and GJA5. Integration of genes affected by CNVs with known schizophrenia susceptibility genes (from previous genetic linkage and association studies) reveals that many genes disrupted by CNVs are also associated with schizophrenia. Further protein-protein interaction (PPI) analysis indicates that protein products of genes affected by CNVs frequently interact with known schizophrenia-associated proteins. Finally, systematic integration of CNVs prioritization data with genetic association and PPI data identifies key schizophrenia candidate genes. Our results provide a global overview of genes impacted by CNVs in schizophrenia and reveal a densely interconnected molecular network of de novo CNVs in schizophrenia. Though the prioritized top genes represent promising schizophrenia risk genes, further work with different prioritization methods and independent samples is needed to confirm these findings. Nevertheless, the identified key candidate genes may have important roles in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, and further functional characterization of these genes may provide pivotal targets for future therapeutics and diagnostics.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
52Nature 2014 Jul 511: 236-40
TitleCntnap4 differentially contributes to GABAergic and dopaminergic synaptic transmission.
AbstractAlthough considerable evidence suggests that the chemical synapse is a lynchpin underlying affective disorders, how molecular insults differentially affect specific synaptic connections remains poorly understood. For instance, Neurexin 1a and 2 (NRXN1 and NRXN2) and CNTNAP2 (also known as CASPR2), all members of the neurexin superfamily of transmembrane molecules, have been implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders. However, their loss leads to deficits that have been best characterized with regard to their effect on excitatory cells. Notably, other disease-associated genes such as BDNF and ERBB4 implicate specific interneuron synapses in psychiatric disorders. Consistent with this, cortical interneuron dysfunction has been linked to epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism. Using a microarray screen that focused upon synapse-associated molecules, we identified Cntnap4 (contactin associated protein-like 4, also known as Caspr4) as highly enriched in developing murine interneurons. In this study we show that Cntnap4 is localized presynaptically and its loss leads to a reduction in the output of cortical parvalbumin (PV)-positive GABAergic (?-aminobutyric acid producing) basket cells. Paradoxically, the loss of Cntnap4 augments midbrain dopaminergic release in the nucleus accumbens. In Cntnap4 mutant mice, synaptic defects in these disease-relevant neuronal populations are mirrored by sensory-motor gating and grooming endophenotypes; these symptoms could be pharmacologically reversed, providing promise for therapeutic intervention in psychiatric disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
53Schizophr. Res. 2014 Oct 159: 107-13
TitleReplication of previous genome-wide association studies of psychiatric diseases in a large schizophrenia case-control sample from Spain.
AbstractGenome wide association studies (GWAS) has allowed the discovery of some interesting risk variants for schizophrenia (SCZ). However, this high-throughput approach presents some limitations, being the most important the necessity of highly restrictive statistical corrections as well as the loss of statistical power inherent to the use of a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) analysis approach. These problems can be partially solved through the use of a polygenic approach. We performed a genotyping study in SCZ using 86 previously associated SNPs identified by GWAS of SCZ, bipolar disorder (BPD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) patients. The sample consisted of 3063 independent cases with DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of SCZ and 2847 independent controls of European origin from Spain. A polygenic score analysis was also used to test the overall effect on the SCZ status. One SNP, rs12290811, located in the ODZ4 gene reached statistical significance (p=1.710(-4), Allelic odds ratio=1.21), a value very near to those reported in previous GWAS of BPD patients. In addition, 4 SNPs were close to the significant threshold: rs3850333, in the NRXN1 gene; rs6932590, at MHC; rs2314398, located in an intergenic region on chromosome 2; and rs1006737, in the CACNA1C gene. We also found that 74% of the studied SNPs showed the same tendency (risk or protection alleles) previously reported in the original GWAS (p<0.001). Our data strengthen the polygenic component of susceptibility to SCZ. Our findings show ODZ4 as a risk gene for SCZ, emphasizing the existence of common vulnerability in psychosis.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
54Mol Genet Genomic Med 2014 Nov 2: 512-21
TitleA common cognitive, psychiatric, and dysmorphic phenotype in carriers of NRXN1 deletion.
AbstractDeletions in the 2p16.3 region that includes the neurexin (NRXN1) gene are associated with intellectual disability and various psychiatric disorders, in particular, autism and schizophrenia. We present three unrelated patients, two adults and one child, in whom we identified an intragenic 2p16.3 deletion within the NRXN1 gene using an oligonucleotide comparative genomic hybridization array. The three patients presented dual diagnosis that consisted of mild intellectual disability and autism and bipolar disorder. Also, they all shared a dysmorphic phenotype characterized by a long face, deep set eyes, and prominent premaxilla. Genetic analysis of family members showed two inherited deletions. A comprehensive neuropsychological examination of the 2p16.3 deletion carriers revealed the same phenotype, characterized by anxiety disorder, borderline intelligence, and dysexecutive syndrome. The cognitive pattern of dysexecutive syndrome with poor working memory and reduced attention switching, mental flexibility, and verbal fluency was the same than those of the adult probands. We suggest that in addition to intellectual disability and psychiatric disease, NRXN1 deletion is a risk factor for a characteristic cognitive and dysmorphic profile. The new cognitive phenotype found in the 2p16.3 deletion carriers suggests that 2p16.3 deletions might have a wide variable expressivity instead of incomplete penetrance.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
55Br J Psychiatry 2014 Feb 204: 108-14
TitleAnalysis of copy number variations at 15 schizophrenia-associated loci.
AbstractA number of copy number variants (CNVs) have been suggested as susceptibility factors for schizophrenia. For some of these the data remain equivocal, and the frequency in individuals with schizophrenia is uncertain.
To determine the contribution of CNVs at 15 schizophrenia-associated loci (a) using a large new data-set of patients with schizophrenia (n = 6882) and controls (n = 6316), and (b) combining our results with those from previous studies.
We used Illumina microarrays to analyse our data. Analyses were restricted to 520 766 probes common to all arrays used in the different data-sets.
We found higher rates in participants with schizophrenia than in controls for 13 of the 15 previously implicated CNVs. Six were nominally significantly associated (P<0.05) in this new data-set: deletions at 1q21.1, NRXN1, 15q11.2 and 22q11.2 and duplications at 16p11.2 and the Angelman/Prader-Willi Syndrome (AS/PWS) region. All eight AS/PWS duplications in patients were of maternal origin. When combined with published data, 11 of the 15 loci showed highly significant evidence for association with schizophrenia (P<4.110(-4)).
We strengthen the support for the majority of the previously implicated CNVs in schizophrenia. About 2.5% of patients with schizophrenia and 0.9% of controls carry a large, detectable CNV at one of these loci. Routine CNV screening may be clinically appropriate given the high rate of known deleterious mutations in the disorder and the comorbidity associated with these heritable mutations.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
56Pharmacogenomics J. 2014 Aug 14: 395-9
TitleCopy number variants and therapeutic response to antidepressant medication in major depressive disorder.
AbstractIt would be beneficial to find genetic predictors of antidepressant response to help personalise treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Rare copy number variants (CNVs) have been implicated in several psychiatric disorders, including MDD, but their role in antidepressant response has yet to be investigated. CNV data were available for 1565 individuals with MDD from the NEWMEDS (Novel Methods leading to New Medications in Depression and schizophrenia) consortium with prospective data on treatment outcome with either a serotonergic or noradrenergic antidepressant. No association was seen between the presence of CNV (rare or common), the overall number of CNVs or genomic CNV 'burden' and antidepressant response. Specific CNVs were nominally associated with antidepressant response, including 15q13.3 duplications and exonic NRXN1 deletions. These were associated with poor response to antidepressants. Overall burden of CNVs is unlikely to contribute to personalising antidepressant treatment. Specific CNVs associated with antidepressant treatment require replication and further study to confirm their role in the therapeutic action of antidepressant.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
57Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014 Jan 111: 361-6
TitleOhnologs are overrepresented in pathogenic copy number mutations.
AbstractA number of rare copy number variants (CNVs), including both deletions and duplications, have been associated with developmental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism, intellectual disability, and epilepsy. Pathogenicity may derive from dosage sensitivity of one or more genes contained within the CNV locus. To understand pathophysiology, the specific disease-causing gene(s) within each CNV need to be identified. In the present study, we test the hypothesis that ohnologs (genes retained after ancestral whole-genome duplication events, which are frequently dosage sensitive) are overrepresented in pathogenic CNVs. We selected three sets of genes implicated in copy number pathogenicity: (i) genes mapping within rare disease-associated CNVs, (ii) genes within de novo CNVs under negative genetic selection, and (iii) genes identified by clinical array comparative genome hybridization studies as potentially pathogenic. We compared the proportion of ohnologs between these gene sets and control genes, mapping to CNVs not known to be disease associated. We found that ohnologs are significantly overrepresented in genes mapping to pathogenic CNVs, irrespective of how CNVs were identified, with over 90% containing an ohnolog, compared with control CNVs >100 kb, where only about 30% contained an ohnolog. In some CNVs, such as del15p11.2 (CYFIP1) and dup/del16p13.11 (NDE1), the most plausible prior candidate gene was also an ohnolog, as were the genes VIPR2 and NRXN1, each found in short CNVs containing no other genes. Our results support the hypothesis that ohnologs represent critical dosage-sensitive elements of the genome, possibly responsible for some of the deleterious phenotypes observed for pathogenic CNVs and as such are readily identifiable candidate genes for further study.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
58Schizophr. Res. 2014 May 155: 1-7
TitleIncomplete penetrance of NRXN1 deletions in families with schizophrenia.
AbstractNeurexin 1 (NRXN1) is a presynaptic neuronal adhesion molecule that interacts with postsynaptic neuroligins in both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses and is important in synaptic formation and function. NRXN1 deletions increase the risk of schizophrenia, so our aims were to explore this in our family sample, to distinguish de novo from inherited mutations, to examine transmission to affected and unaffected siblings and to estimate penetrance. We performed copy number analyses in NRXN1 using data from Illumina BeadArrays from 635 subjects with schizophrenia (276 in genotyped families), 487 of their unaffected parents and 309 unaffected siblings as well as 635 normal controls, all from the CBDB/NIMH Genetic Study of schizophrenia. Deletions called by software were confirmed by quantitative PCR and comparative genome hybridization. There were deletions in 15 individuals in 11 families, including de novo exonic deletions in one case and one unaffected sibling. We observed no deletions in controls, 7 deletions in cases (1.10%), and an unexpectedly high deletion frequency in parents (n=5, 1.02%) and siblings (n=3, 0.97%). Three families showed inheritance from an unaffected parent, and in two families an unaffected parent did not transmit to the affected offspring. Thus we have added to the evidence that NRXN1 deletions are more frequent in patients with schizophrenia than in healthy individuals. However, the presence of de novo deletions in unaffected relatives and transmission from and to unaffected family members demonstrated that while the deletions may well have been necessary for some carriers to develop schizophrenia, they were not always sufficient.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
59Neuropsychopharmacology 2014 Aug 39: 2170-8
TitleIdentification of candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms in NRXN1 related to antipsychotic treatment response in patients with schizophrenia.
AbstractNeurexins are presynaptic neuronal adhesion molecules that interact with postsynaptic neuroligins to form an inter-synaptic complex required for synaptic specification and efficient neurotransmission. Deletions and point mutations in the neurexin 1 (NRXN1) gene are associated with a broad spectrum of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, intellectual disability, epilepsy, developmental delay, and schizophrenia. Recently, small nucleotide polymorphisms in NRXN1 have been associated with antipsychotic drug response in patients with schizophrenia. Based on previous suggestive evidence of an impact on clozapine response in patients with schizophrenia, we conducted an association study of NRXN1 polymorphisms (rs12467557 and rs10490162) with antipsychotic treatment response in 54 patients with schizophrenia in a double blind, placebo-controlled NIMH inpatient crossover trial and examined for association with risk for schizophrenia in independent case-control and family-based clinical cohorts. Pharmacogenetic analysis in the placebo controlled trial revealed significant association of rs12467557and rs10490162 with drug response, whereby individuals homozygous for the A allele, at either SNP, showed significant improvement in positive symptoms, general psychopathology, thought disturbance, and negative symptoms, whereas patients carrying the G allele showed no overall response. Although we did not find evidence of the same NRXN1 SNPs being associated with results of the NIMH sponsored CATIE trial, other SNPs showed weakly positive signals. The family and case-control analyses for schizophrenia risk were negative. Our results provide confirmatory evidence of genetically determined differences in drug response in patients with schizophrenia related to NRXN1 variation. Furthermore, these findings potentially implicate NRXN1 in the therapeutic actions of antipsychotic drugs.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
60Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. 2014 Jan 165B: 52-61
TitleSequence analysis of 17 NRXN1 deletions.
AbstractGenome instability plays fundamental roles in human evolution and phenotypic variation within our population. This instability leads to genomic rearrangements that are involved in a wide variety of human disorders, including congenital and neurodevelopmental disorders, and cancers. Insight into the molecular mechanisms governing such genomic rearrangements may increase our understanding of disease pathology and evolutionary processes. Here we analyse 17 carriers of non-recurrent deletions in the NRXN1 gene, which have been associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, e.g. schizophrenia, autism and epilepsies.
17 non-recurrent NRXN1 deletions identified by GWA were sequenced to map the breakpoints of each. Meme ? etc. was used to identify shared patterns between the deletions and compare these were previously studies on non-recurrent deletions.
We discovered two novel sequence motifs shared between all 17 NRXN1 deletions and a significantly higher AT nucleotide content at the breakpoints, compared to the overall nucleotide content on chromosome 2. We found different alteration of sequence at the breakpoint; small insertions and duplications giving rise to short microhomology sequences.
No single mechanism seems to be implicated in the deletion events, but the results suggest that NHEJ, FoSTeS or MMBIR is implicated. The two novel sequence motifs together with a high AT content in all in NRXN1 deletions may lead to increased instability leading to a increase susceptibility to a single stranded structures. This favours potentially repaired by NHEJ mechanism of double strand breaks or may leading to replication errors. 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
61Genetika 2015 Jul 51: 799-811
Title[The Role of Neurotrophins and Neurexins Genes in the Risk of Paranoid Schizophrenia in Russians and Tatars].
Abstractschizophrenia affects about 1% of the population. Its etiology is not fully understood. Environmental conditions certainly contribute to the development of schizophrenia, but the determining factor is genetic predisposition: the coefficient of heritability of schizophrenia is about 80%, which is typical for the most highly heritable multifactorial diseases. Polymorphic loci of genes of enzymes and receptors involved in the processes of neuroprotection and neurotrophia play significant role in the development of this disease. In this paper we investigated 48 polymorphic variants of genes of the neurotrophins and neurexins family (BDNF, NTRK2, NTRK3, NGF, NXPH1, and NRXN1) in Russian and Tatar cases and in a control group living in the Republic of Bashkortostan. The results of this study confirm the important role of neurotrophin and neurexin genes in paranoid schizophrenia development.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
62Genet Res (Camb) 2015 -1 97: e19
TitleA de novo microdeletion in NRXN1 in a Dutch patient with mild intellectual disability, microcephaly and gonadal dysgenesis.
AbstractThis report is regarding a Dutch female with microcephaly, mild intellectual disability (ID), gonadal dysgenesis and dysmorphic facial features with synophrys. Upon genotyping, an ~455 kb de novo deletion encompassing the first exon of NRXN1 was found. Bidirectional sequencing of the coding exons of the NRXN1 alpha isoform was subsequently performed to investigate the possibility of a pathogenic mutation on the other allele, but we could not find any other mutation. Previously, many heterozygous mutations as well as microdeletions in NRXN1 were shown to be associated with ID, autism, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric and psychotic disorders. Our results are in agreement with other reports that show that NRXN1 deletions can lead to ID, microcephaly and mild dysmorphic features. However, this is the first report of gonadal dysgenesis being associated with such deletions. It is not clear whether there is a causal relationship between the NRXN1 deletion and gonadal dysgenesis, but it is of interest that the FSHR gene, which encodes the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor causative correlation that is mutated in ovarian dysgenesis, is located proximal to the NRXN1 gene. Given that most of the females carrying NRXN1 deletions have been diagnosed at a prepubertal age, gynecologic screening of female carriers of a NRXN1 deletion is warranted.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
63Biol. Psychiatry 2015 Nov -1: -1
TitleGenome-wide Analysis of the Role of Copy Number Variation in Schizophrenia Risk in Chinese.
AbstractCompelling evidence suggested the role of copy number variations (CNVs) in schizophrenia susceptibility. Most of the evidence was from studies in populations with European ancestry. We tried to validate the associated CNV loci in a Han Chinese population and identify novel loci conferring risk of schizophrenia.
We performed a genome-wide CNV analysis on 6588 patients with schizophrenia and 11,904 control subjects of Han Chinese ancestry.
Our data confirmed increased genome-wide CNV (>500 kb and <1%) burden in schizophrenia, and the increasing trend was more significant when only >1 Mb CNVs were considered. We also replicated several associated loci that were previously identified in European populations, including duplications at 16p11.2, 15q11.2-13.1, 7q11.23, and VIPR2 and deletions at 22q11.2, 1q21.1-q21.2, and NRXN1. In addition, we discovered three additional new potential loci (odds ratio >6, p < .05): duplications at 1p36.32, 10p12.1, and 13q13.3, involving many neurodevelopmental and synaptic related genes.
Our findings provide further support for the role of CNVs in the etiology of schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
64Behav. Neurosci. 2015 Dec 129: 765-76
TitleHeterozygous deletion of ?-neurexin I or ?-neurexin II results in behaviors relevant to autism and schizophrenia.
AbstractThe neurexins are a family of presynaptic cell adhesion molecules. Human genetic studies have found heterozygous deletions affecting NRXN1 and NRXN2, encoding ?-neurexin I (NRXN1?) and ?-neurexin II (Nrxn2?), in individuals with autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. However, the link between ?-neurexin deficiency and the manifestation of psychiatric disorders remain unclear. To assess whether the heterozygous loss of neurexins results in behaviors relevant to autism or schizophrenia, we used mice with heterozygous (HET) deletion of NRXN1? or Nrxn2?. We found that in a test of social approach, NRXN1? HET mice show no social memory for familiar versus novel conspecifics. In a passive avoidance test, female NRXN1? HET mice cross to the conditioned chamber sooner than female wild-type and Nrxn2? HET mice. Nrxn2? HET mice also express a lack of long-term object discrimination, indicating a deficit in cognition. The observed NRXN1? and Nrxn2? genotypic effects were specific, as neither HET deletion had effects on a wide range of other behavioral measures, including several measures of anxiety. Our findings demonstrate that the heterozygous loss of ?-neurexin I and ?-neurexin II in mice leads to phenotypes relevant to autism and schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
65Cell Stem Cell 2015 Sep 17: 316-28
TitleHuman Neuropsychiatric Disease Modeling using Conditional Deletion Reveals Synaptic Transmission Defects Caused by Heterozygous Mutations in NRXN1.
AbstractHeterozygous mutations of the NRXN1 gene, which encodes the presynaptic cell-adhesion molecule neurexin-1, were repeatedly associated with autism and schizophrenia. However, diverse clinical presentations of NRXN1 mutations in patients raise the question of whether heterozygous NRXN1 mutations alone directly impair synaptic function. To address this question under conditions that precisely control for genetic background, we generated human ESCs with different heterozygous conditional NRXN1 mutations and analyzed two different types of isogenic control and NRXN1 mutant neurons derived from these ESCs. Both heterozygous NRXN1 mutations selectively impaired neurotransmitter release in human neurons without changing neuronal differentiation or synapse formation. Moreover, both NRXN1 mutations increased the levels of CASK, a critical synaptic scaffolding protein that binds to neurexin-1. Our results show that, unexpectedly, heterozygous inactivation of NRXN1 directly impairs synaptic function in human neurons, and they illustrate the value of this conditional deletion approach for studying the functional effects of disease-associated mutations.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
66Front Synaptic Neurosci 2015 -1 7: 3
TitleGenetic targeting of NRXN2 in mice unveils role in excitatory cortical synapse function and social behaviors.
AbstractHuman genetics has identified rare copy number variations and deleterious mutations for all neurexin genes (NRXN1-3) in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases, and electrophysiological recordings in animal brains have shown that Nrxns are important for synaptic transmission. While several mouse models for NRXN1? inactivation have previously been studied for behavioral changes, very little information is available for other variants. Here, we validate that mice lacking Nrxn2? exhibit behavioral abnormalities, characterized by social interaction deficits and increased anxiety-like behavior, which partially overlap, partially differ from NRXN1? mutant behaviors. Using patch-clamp recordings in Nrxn2? knockout brains, we observe reduced spontaneous transmitter release at excitatory synapses in the neocortex. We also analyse at this cellular level a novel NRXN2 mouse model that carries a combined deletion of Nrxn2? and Nrxn2?. Electrophysiological analysis of this Nrxn2-mutant mouse shows surprisingly similar defects of excitatory release to Nrxn2?, indicating that the ?-variant of Nrxn2 has no strong function in basic transmission at these synapses. Inhibitory transmission as well as synapse densities and ultrastructure remain unchanged in the neocortex of both models. Furthermore, at Nrxn2? and Nrxn2-mutant excitatory synapses we find an altered facilitation and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function because NMDAR-dependent decay time and NMDAR-mediated responses are reduced. As Nrxn can indirectly be linked to NMDAR via neuroligin and PSD-95, the trans-synaptic nature of this complex may help to explain occurrence of presynaptic and postsynaptic effects. Since excitatory/inhibitory imbalances and impairment of NMDAR function are alledged to have a role in autism and schizophrenia, our results support the idea of a related pathomechanism in these disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
67Eur J Med Genet 2015 Dec 58: 650-3
TitleTwo rare deletions upstream of the NRXN1 gene (2p16.3) affecting the non-coding mRNA AK127244 segregate with diverse psychopathological phenotypes in a family.
AbstractCNVs spanning the 2p16.3 (NRXN1) and the 15q11.2 gene rich region have been associated with severe neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. Recently, studies have also revealed that CNVs in non-coding regions play an essential role in genomic variability in addition to disease susceptibility. In this study, we describe a family affected by a wide range of psychiatric disorders including early onset schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, and affective disorders. Microarray analysis identified two rare deletions immediately upstream of the NRXN1 gene affecting the non-coding mRNA AK127244 in addition to the pathogenic 15q11.2 deletion in distinct family members. The two deletions upstream of the NRXN1 gene were found to segregate with psychiatric disorders in the family and further similar deletions have been observed in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Thus, we suggest that non-coding regions upstream of the NRXN1 gene affecting AK127244 might (as NRXN1) contain susceptibility regions for a wide spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
68Hum. Mol. Genet. 2015 Oct 24: R45-9
TitleCNVs in neuropsychiatric disorders.
AbstractOver the last few years at least 11 copy number variations (CNVs) have been shown convincingly to increase risk to developing schizophrenia: deletions at 1q21.1, NRXN1, 3q29, 15q11.2, 15q13.3 and 22q11.2, and duplications at 1q21.1, 7q11.23, 15q11.2-q13.1, 16p13.1 and proximal 16p11.2. They are very rare, found cumulatively in 2.4% of patients with schizophrenia and in only 0.5% of controls. They all increase risk for other neurodevelopmental disorders, such as developmental delay and autism spectrum disorders, where they are found at higher rates (3.3%). Their involvement in bipolar affective disorder is much less prominent. All of them affect multiple genes (apart from NRXN1) and cause substantial increases in risk to develop schizophrenia (odds ratios of 2 to over 50). Their penetrance for any neurodevelopmental disorder is high, from ?10% to nearly 100%. Carriers of these CNVs display cognitive deficits, even when free of neuropsychiatric disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic
69Mol. Psychiatry 2016 May 21: 701-6
TitleNeurexin 1 (NRXN1) splice isoform expression during human neocortical development and aging.
AbstractNeurexin 1 (NRXN1), a presynaptic cell adhesion molecule, is implicated in several neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by synaptic dysfunction including autism, intellectual disability and schizophrenia. To gain insight into NRXN1's involvement in human cortical development we used quantitative real-time PCR to examine the expression trajectories of NRXN1, and its predominant isoforms, NRXN1-? and NRXN1-?, in prefrontal cortex from fetal stages to aging. In addition, we investigated whether prefrontal cortical expression levels of NRXN1 transcripts are altered in schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in comparison with non-psychiatric control subjects. We observed that all three NRXN1 transcripts were highly expressed during human fetal cortical development, markedly increasing with gestational age. In the postnatal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, expression levels were negatively correlated with age, peaking at birth until ~3 years of age, after which levels declined markedly to be stable across the lifespan. NRXN1-? expression was modestly but significantly elevated in the brains of patients with schizophrenia compared with non-psychiatric controls, whereas NRXN1-? expression was increased in bipolar disorder. These data provide novel evidence that NRXN1 expression is highest in human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during critical developmental windows relevant to the onset and diagnosis of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders, and that NRXN1 expression may be differentially altered in neuropsychiatric disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizophrenic