• Allelic expression imbalance of the schizophrenia susceptibility gene CHI3L1: evidence of cis-acting variation and tissue specific regulation.

      Hill, Matthew James; Kenny, Elaine; Roche, Siobhan; Morris, Derek W; Corvin, Aiden; Hawi, Ziarih; Gill, Michael; Anney, Richard J L; Neuropsychiatric Genetics Research Group, Trinity College Dublin, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Ireland. matthew.hill@kcl.ac.uk (2011-12)
      To identify cis-acting regulatory variants influencing the expression of the schizophrenia susceptibility gene chitinase 3-like 1 gene (CHI3L1) in human lymphoblasts and post-mortem brain tissue.
    • A bias-reducing pathway enrichment analysis of genome-wide association data confirmed association of the MHC region with schizophrenia.

      Jia, Peilin; Wang, Lily; Fanous, Ayman H; Chen, Xiangning; Kendler, Kenneth S; Zhao, Zhongming; Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37203, USA. (2012-02)
      After the recent successes of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), one key challenge is to identify genetic variants that might have a significant joint effect on complex diseases but have failed to be identified individually due to weak to moderate marginal effect. One popular and effective approach is gene set based analysis, which investigates the joint effect of multiple functionally related genes (eg, pathways). However, a typical gene set analysis method is biased towards long genes, a problem that is especially severe in psychiatric diseases.
    • Brain vs behavior: an effect size comparison of neuroimaging and cognitive studies of genetic risk for schizophrenia.

      Rose, Emma Jane; Donohoe, Gary; Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James' Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. rosee@tcd.ie (2013-05)
      Genetic variants associated with increased risk for schizophrenia (SZ) are hypothesized to be more penetrant at the level of brain structure and function than at the level of behavior. However, to date the relative sensitivity of imaging vs cognitive measures of these variants has not been quantified. We considered effect sizes associated with cognitive and imaging studies of 9 robust SZ risk genes (DAOA, DISC1, DTNBP1, NRG1, RGS4, NRGN, CACNA1C, TCF4, and ZNF804A) published between January 2005-November 2011. Summary data was used to calculate estimates of effect size for each significant finding. The mean effect size for each study was categorized as small, medium, or large and the relative frequency of each category was compared between modalities and across genes. Random effects meta-analysis was used to consider the impact of experimental methodology on effect size. Imaging studies reported mostly medium or large effects, whereas cognitive investigations commonly reported small effects. Meta-analysis confirmed that imaging studies were associated with larger effects. Effect size estimates were negatively correlated with sample size but did not differ as a function of gene nor imaging modality. These observations support the notion that SZ risk variants show larger effects, and hence greater penetrance, when characterized using indices of brain structure and function than when indexed by cognitive measures. However, it remains to be established whether this holds true for individual risk variants, imaging modalities, or cognitive functions, and how such effects may be mediated by a relationship with sample size and other aspects of experimental variability.
    • Duplications of the neuropeptide receptor gene VIPR2 confer significant risk for schizophrenia.

      Vacic, Vladimir; McCarthy, Shane; Malhotra, Dheeraj; Murray, Fiona; Chou, Hsun-Hua; Peoples, Aine; Makarov, Vladimir; Yoon, Seungtai; Bhandari, Abhishek; Corominas, Roser; et al. (2011-03-24)
      Rare copy number variants (CNVs) have a prominent role in the aetiology of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Substantial risk for schizophrenia is conferred by large (>500-kilobase) CNVs at several loci, including microdeletions at 1q21.1 (ref. 2), 3q29 (ref. 3), 15q13.3 (ref. 2) and 22q11.2 (ref. 4) and microduplication at 16p11.2 (ref. 5). However, these CNVs collectively account for a small fraction (2-4%) of cases, and the relevant genes and neurobiological mechanisms are not well understood. Here we performed a large two-stage genome-wide scan of rare CNVs and report the significant association of copy number gains at chromosome 7q36.3 with schizophrenia. Microduplications with variable breakpoints occurred within a 362-kilobase region and were detected in 29 of 8,290 (0.35%) patients versus 2 of 7,431 (0.03%) controls in the combined sample. All duplications overlapped or were located within 89 kilobases upstream of the vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor gene VIPR2. VIPR2 transcription and cyclic-AMP signalling were significantly increased in cultured lymphocytes from patients with microduplications of 7q36.3. These findings implicate altered vasoactive intestinal peptide signalling in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and indicate the VPAC2 receptor as a potential target for the development of new antipsychotic drugs.
    • Effects of ZNF804A on auditory P300 response in schizophrenia.

      O'Donoghue, T; Morris, D W; Fahey, C; Da Costa, A; Moore, S; Cummings, E; Leicht, G; Karch, S; Hoerold, D; Tropea, D; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2014-01)
      The common variant rs1344706 within the zinc-finger protein gene ZNF804A has been strongly implicated in schizophrenia (SZ) susceptibility by a series of recent genetic association studies. Although associated with a pattern of altered neural connectivity, evidence that increased risk is mediated by an effect on cognitive deficits associated with the disorder has been equivocal. This study investigated whether the same ZNF804A risk allele was associated with variation in the P300 auditory-evoked response, a cognitively relevant putative endophenotype for SZ. We compared P300 responses in carriers and noncarriers of the ZNF804A risk allele genotype groups in Irish patients and controls (n=97). P300 response was observed to vary according to genotype in this sample, such that risk allele carriers showed relatively higher P300 response compared with noncarriers. This finding accords with behavioural data reported by our group and others. It is also consistent with the idea that ZNF804A may have an impact on cortical efficiency, reflected in the higher levels of activations required to achieve comparable behavioural accuracy on the task used.
    • Fine mapping of ZNF804A and genome-wide significant evidence for its involvement in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

      Williams, H J; Norton, N; Dwyer, S; Moskvina, V; Nikolov, I; Carroll, L; Georgieva, L; Williams, N M; Morris, D W; Quinn, E M; et al. (2011-04)
      A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) reported evidence for association between rs1344706 within ZNF804A (encoding zinc-finger protein 804A) and schizophrenia (P=1.61 × 10(-7)), and stronger evidence when the phenotype was broadened to include bipolar disorder (P=9.96 × 10(-9)). In this study we provide additional evidence for association through meta-analysis of a larger data set (schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder N=18 945, schizophrenia plus bipolar disorder N=21 274 and controls N=38 675). We also sought to better localize the association signal using a combination of de novo polymorphism discovery in exons, pooled de novo polymorphism discovery spanning the genomic sequence of the locus and high-density linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping. The meta-analysis provided evidence for association between rs1344706 that surpasses widely accepted benchmarks of significance by several orders of magnitude for both schizophrenia (P=2.5 × 10(-11), odds ratio (OR) 1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.07-1.14) and schizophrenia and bipolar disorder combined (P=4.1 × 10(-13), OR 1.11, 95% confidence interval 1.07-1.14). After de novo polymorphism discovery and detailed association analysis, rs1344706 remained the most strongly associated marker in the gene. The allelic association at the ZNF804A locus is now one of the most compelling in schizophrenia to date, and supports the accumulating data suggesting overlapping genetic risk between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
    • Genome-wide association study identifies five new schizophrenia loci.

      Ripke, Stephan; Sanders, Alan R; Kendler, Kenneth S; Levinson, Douglas F; Sklar, Pamela; Holmans, Peter A; Lin, Dan-Yu; Duan, Jubao; Ophoff, Roel A; Andreassen, Ole A; et al. (2011-10)
      We examined the role of common genetic variation in schizophrenia in a genome-wide association study of substantial size: a stage 1 discovery sample of 21,856 individuals of European ancestry and a stage 2 replication sample of 29,839 independent subjects. The combined stage 1 and 2 analysis yielded genome-wide significant associations with schizophrenia for seven loci, five of which are new (1p21.3, 2q32.3, 8p23.2, 8q21.3 and 10q24.32-q24.33) and two of which have been previously implicated (6p21.32-p22.1 and 18q21.2). The strongest new finding (P = 1.6 × 10(-11)) was with rs1625579 within an intron of a putative primary transcript for MIR137 (microRNA 137), a known regulator of neuronal development. Four other schizophrenia loci achieving genome-wide significance contain predicted targets of MIR137, suggesting MIR137-mediated dysregulation as a previously unknown etiologic mechanism in schizophrenia. In a joint analysis with a bipolar disorder sample (16,374 affected individuals and 14,044 controls), three loci reached genome-wide significance: CACNA1C (rs4765905, P = 7.0 × 10(-9)), ANK3 (rs10994359, P = 2.5 × 10(-8)) and the ITIH3-ITIH4 region (rs2239547, P = 7.8 × 10(-9)).
    • GWA study data mining and independent replication identify cardiomyopathy-associated 5 (CMYA5) as a risk gene for schizophrenia.

      Chen, X; Lee, G; Maher, B S; Fanous, A H; Chen, J; Zhao, Z; Guo, A; van den Oord, E; Sullivan, P F; Shi, J; et al. (2011-11)
      We conducted data-mining analyses using the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) and molecular genetics of schizophrenia genome-wide association study supported by the genetic association information network (MGS-GAIN) schizophrenia data sets and performed bioinformatic prioritization for all the markers with P-values ≤0.05 in both data sets. In this process, we found that in the CMYA5 gene, there were two non-synonymous markers, rs3828611 and rs10043986, showing nominal significance in both the CATIE and MGS-GAIN samples. In a combined analysis of both the CATIE and MGS-GAIN samples, rs4704591 was identified as the most significant marker in the gene. Linkage disequilibrium analyses indicated that these markers were in low LD (3 828 611-rs10043986, r(2)=0.008; rs10043986-rs4704591, r(2)=0.204). In addition, CMYA5 was reported to be physically interacting with the DTNBP1 gene, a promising candidate for schizophrenia, suggesting that CMYA5 may be involved in the same biological pathway and process. On the basis of this information, we performed replication studies for these three single-nucleotide polymorphisms. The rs3828611 was found to have conflicting results in our Irish samples and was dropped out without further investigation. The other two markers were verified in 23 other independent data sets. In a meta-analysis of all 23 replication samples (family samples, 912 families with 4160 subjects; case-control samples, 11 380 cases and 15 021 controls), we found that both markers are significantly associated with schizophrenia (rs10043986, odds ratio (OR)=1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04-1.18, P=8.2 × 10(-4) and rs4704591, OR=1.07, 95% CI=1.03-1.11, P=3.0 × 10(-4)). The results were also significant for the 22 Caucasian replication samples (rs10043986, OR=1.11, 95% CI=1.03-1.17, P=0.0026 and rs4704591, OR=1.07, 95% CI=1.02-1.11, P=0.0015). Furthermore, haplotype conditioned analyses indicated that the association signals observed at these two markers are independent. On the basis of these results, we concluded that CMYA5 is associated with schizophrenia and further investigation of the gene is warranted.
    • High frequencies of de novo CNVs in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

      Malhotra, Dheeraj; McCarthy, Shane; Michaelson, Jacob J; Vacic, Vladimir; Burdick, Katherine E; Yoon, Seungtai; Cichon, Sven; Corvin, Aiden; Gary, Sydney; Gershon, Elliot S; et al. (2011-12-22)
      While it is known that rare copy-number variants (CNVs) contribute to risk for some neuropsychiatric disorders, the role of CNVs in bipolar disorder is unclear. Here, we reasoned that a contribution of CNVs to mood disorders might be most evident for de novo mutations. We performed a genome-wide analysis of de novo CNVs in a cohort of 788 trios. Diagnoses of offspring included bipolar disorder (n = 185), schizophrenia (n = 177), and healthy controls (n = 426). Frequencies of de novo CNVs were significantly higher in bipolar disorder as compared with controls (OR = 4.8 [1.4,16.0], p = 0.009). De novo CNVs were particularly enriched among cases with an age at onset younger than 18 (OR = 6.3 [1.7,22.6], p = 0.006). We also confirmed a significant enrichment of de novo CNVs in schizophrenia (OR = 5.0 [1.5,16.8], p = 0.007). Our results suggest that rare spontaneous mutations are an important contributor to risk for bipolar disorder and other major neuropsychiatric diseases.
    • Large-scale genome-wide association analysis of bipolar disorder identifies a new susceptibility locus near ODZ4.

      Sklar, Pamela; Ripke, Stephan; Scott, Laura J; Andreassen, Ole A; Cichon, Sven; Craddock, Nick; Edenberg, Howard J; Nurnberger, John I; Rietschel, Marcella; Blackwood, Douglas; et al. (2011-10)
      We conducted a combined genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 7,481 individuals with bipolar disorder (cases) and 9,250 controls as part of the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium. Our replication study tested 34 SNPs in 4,496 independent cases with bipolar disorder and 42,422 independent controls and found that 18 of 34 SNPs had P < 0.05, with 31 of 34 SNPs having signals with the same direction of effect (P = 3.8 × 10(-7)). An analysis of all 11,974 bipolar disorder cases and 51,792 controls confirmed genome-wide significant evidence of association for CACNA1C and identified a new intronic variant in ODZ4. We identified a pathway comprised of subunits of calcium channels enriched in bipolar disorder association intervals. Finally, a combined GWAS analysis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder yielded strong association evidence for SNPs in CACNA1C and in the region of NEK4-ITIH1-ITIH3-ITIH4. Our replication results imply that increasing sample sizes in bipolar disorder will confirm many additional loci.
    • Molecular pathways involved in neuronal cell adhesion and membrane scaffolding contribute to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder susceptibility.

      O'Dushlaine, C; Kenny, E; Heron, E; Donohoe, G; Gill, M; Morris, D; Corvin, A; Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. (2011-03)
      Susceptibility 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.
    • Neural effects of the CSMD1 genome-wide associated schizophrenia risk variant rs10503253.

      Rose, Emma J; Morris, Derek W; Hargreaves, April; Fahey, Ciara; Greene, Ciara; Garavan, Hugh; Gill, Michael; Corvin, Aiden; Donohoe, Gary; Neuropsychiatric Genetics Group and Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, St. James Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2013-09)
      The single nucleotide polymorphism rs10503253 within the CUB and Sushi multiple domains-1 (CSMD1) gene on 8p23.2 has been identified as genome-wide significant for schizophrenia (SZ). This gene is of unknown function but has been implicated in multiple neurodevelopmental disorders that impact upon cognition, leading us to hypothesize that an effect on brain structure and function underlying cognitive processes may be part of the mechanism by which CMSD1 increases illness risk. To test this hypothesis, we investigated this CSMD1 variant in vivo in healthy participants in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study comprised of both fMRI of spatial working memory (N = 50) and a voxel-based morphometry investigation of grey and white matter (WM) volume (N = 150). Analyses of these data indicated that the risk "A" allele was associated with comparatively reduced cortical activations in BA18, that is, middle occipital gyrus and cuneus; posterior brain regions that support maintenance processes during performance of a spatial working memory task. Conversely, there was an absence of significant structural differences in brain volume (i.e., grey or WM). In accordance with previous evidence, these data suggest that CSMD1 may mediate brain function related to cognitive processes (i.e., executive function); with the relatively deleterious effects of the identified "A" risk allele on brain activity possibly constituting part of the mechanism by which CSMD1 increases schizophrenia risk.
    • Neuropsychological effects of the CSMD1 genome-wide associated schizophrenia risk variant rs10503253.

      Donohoe, G; Walters, J; Hargreaves, A; Rose, E J; Morris, D W; Fahey, C; Bellini, S; Cummins, E; Giegling, I; Hartmann, A M; et al. (2013-03)
      The single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs10503253, located within the CUB and Sushi multiple domains-1 (CSMD1) gene on 8p23.2, was recently identified as genome-wide significant for schizophrenia (SZ), but is of unknown function. We investigated the neurocognitive effects of this CSMD1 variant in vivo in patients and healthy participants using behavioral and imaging measures of brain structure and function. We compared carriers and non-carriers of the risk 'A' allele on measures of neuropsychological performance typically impaired in SZ (general cognitive ability, episodic and working memory and attentional control) in independent samples of Irish patients (n = 387) and controls (n = 171) and German patients (205) and controls (n = 533). Across these groups, the risk 'A' allele at CSMD1 was associated with deleterious effects across a number of neurocognitive phenotypes. Specifically, the risk allele was associated with poorer performance on neuropsychological measures of general cognitive ability and memory function but not attentional control. These effects, while significant, were subtle, and varied between samples. Consistent with previous evidence suggesting that CSMD1 may be involved in brain mechanisms related to memory and learning, these data appear to reflect the deleterious effects of the identified 'A' risk allele on neurocognitive function, possibly as part of the mechanism by which CSMD1 is associated with SZ risk.
    • A neuropsychological investigation of the genome wide associated schizophrenia risk variant NRGN rs12807809.

      Donohoe, Gary; Walters, James; Morris, Derek W; Da Costa, Andreia; Rose, Emma; Hargreaves, April; Maher, Katie; Hayes, Eimear; Giegling, Ina; Hartmann, Annette M; et al. (2011-02)
    • Two non-synonymous markers in PTPN21, identified by genome-wide association study data-mining and replication, are associated with schizophrenia.

      Chen, Jingchun; Lee, Grace; Fanous, Ayman H; Zhao, Zhongming; Jia, Peilin; O'Neill, Anthony; Walsh, Dermot; Kendler, Kenneth S; Chen, Xiangning; Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Suite 390, 800 E. Leigh Street, Richmond, VA 23298, USA. (2011-09)
      We conducted data-mining analyses of genome wide association (GWA) studies of the CATIE and MGS-GAIN datasets, and found 13 markers in the two physically linked genes, PTPN21 and EML5, showing nominally significant association with schizophrenia. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis indicated that all 7 markers from PTPN21 shared high LD (r(2)>0.8), including rs2274736 and rs2401751, the two non-synonymous markers with the most significant association signals (rs2401751, P=1.10 × 10(-3) and rs2274736, P=1.21 × 10(-3)). In a meta-analysis of all 13 replication datasets with a total of 13,940 subjects, we found that the two non-synonymous markers are significantly associated with schizophrenia (rs2274736, OR=0.92, 95% CI: 0.86-0.97, P=5.45 × 10(-3) and rs2401751, OR=0.92, 95% CI: 0.86-0.97, P=5.29 × 10(-3)). One SNP (rs7147796) in EML5 is also significantly associated with the disease (OR=1.08, 95% CI: 1.02-1.14, P=6.43 × 10(-3)). These 3 markers remain significant after Bonferroni correction. Furthermore, haplotype conditioned analyses indicated that the association signals observed between rs2274736/rs2401751 and rs7147796 are statistically independent. Given the results that 2 non-synonymous markers in PTPN21 are associated with schizophrenia, further investigation of this locus is warranted.
    • ZNF804A and social cognition in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls.

      Hargreaves, A; Morris, D W; Rose, E; Fahey, C; Moore, S; Cummings, E; Tropea, D; Gill, M; Corvin, A; Donohoe, G (2012-02)
    • ZNF804A risk allele is associated with relatively intact gray matter volume in patients with schizophrenia.

      Donohoe, Gary; Rose, Emma; Frodl, Thomas; Morris, Derek; Spoletini, Ilaria; Adriano, Fulvia; Bernardini, Sergio; Caltagirone, Carlo; Bossù, Paola; Gill, Michael; et al. (2011-02-01)
      ZNF804A rs1344706 is the first genetic risk variant to achieve genome wide significance for psychosis. Following earlier evidence that patients carrying the ZNF804A risk allele had relatively spared memory function compared to patient non-carriers, we investigated whether ZNF804A was also associated with variation in brain volume. In a sample of 70 patients and 38 healthy participants we used voxel based morphometry to compare homozygous (AA) carriers of the ZNF804A risk allele to heterozygous and homozygous (AC/CC) non-carriers for both whole brain volume and specific regions implicated in earlier ZNF804A studies-the dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. For patients, but not for controls, we found that homozygous 'AA' risk carriers had relatively larger gray matter volumes than heterozygous/homozygous non-carriers (AC/CC), particularly for hippocampal volumes. These data are consistent with our earlier behavioral data and suggest that ZNF804A is delineating a schizophrenia subtype characterized by relatively intact brain volume. Establishing if this represents a discrete molecular pathogenesis with consequences for nosology and treatment will be an important next step in understanding ZNF084A's role in illness risk.