The human dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Most antipsychotic drugs influence dopaminergic transmission through blocking dopamine receptors, primarily DRD2. We report here the post-transcriptional regulation of DRD2 expression by two brain-expressed microRNAs (miRs), miR-326 and miR-9, in an ex vivo mode, and show the relevance of miR-mediated DRD2 expression regulation in human dopaminergic neurons and in developing human brains. Both miRs targeted the 3'-UTR (untranslated region) of DRD2 in NT2 (neuron-committed teratocarcinoma, which endogenously expresses DRD2) and CHO (Chinese hamster ovary) cell lines, decreasing luciferase activity measured by a luciferase reporter gene assay. miR-326 overexpression reduced DRD2 mRNA and DRD2 receptor synthesis. Both antisense miR-326 and antisense miR-9 increased DRD2 protein abundance, suggesting an endogenous repression of DRD2 expression by both miRs. Furthermore, a genetic variant (rs1130354) within the DRD2 3'-UTR miR-targeting site interferes with miR-326-mediated repression of DRD2 expression. Finally, co-expression analysis identified an inverse correlation of DRD2 expression with both miR-326 and miR-9 in differentiating dopaminergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and in developing human brain regions implicated in schizophrenia. Our study provides empirical evidence suggesting that miR-326 and miR-9 may regulate dopaminergic signaling, and miR-326 and miR-9 may be considered as potential drug targets for the treatment of disorders involving abnormal DRD2 function, such as schizophrenia.
Dendritic spine pathology is a key feature of several neuropsychiatric disorders. The Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor kalirin-7 is critical for spine morphogenesis on cortical pyramidal neurons. Here we identify a rare coding variant in the KALRN gene region that encodes the catalytic domain, in a schizophrenia patient and his sibling with major depressive disorder. The D1338N substitution significantly diminished the protein's ability to catalyse the activation of Rac1. Contrary to wild-type kalirin-7, kalirin-7-D1338N failed to increase spine size and density. Both subjects carrying the polymorphism displayed reduced cortical volume in the superior temporal sulcus (STS), a region implicated in schizophrenia. Consistent with this, mice with reduced kalirin expression showed reduced neuropil volume in the rodent homologue of the STS. These data suggest that single amino acid changes in proteins involved in dendritic spine function can have significant effects on the structure and function of the cerebral cortex.
The genetic regulation of the human epigenome is not fully appreciated. Here we describe the effects of genetic variants on the DNA methylome in human lung based on methylation-quantitative trait loci (meQTL) analyses. We report 34,304 cis- and 585 trans-meQTLs, a genetic-epigenetic interaction of surprising magnitude, including a regulatory hotspot. These findings are replicated in both breast and kidney tissues and show distinct patterns: cis-meQTLs mostly localize to CpG sites outside of genes, promoters and CpG islands (CGIs), while trans-meQTLs are over-represented in promoter CGIs. meQTL SNPs are enriched in CTCF-binding sites, DNaseI hypersensitivity regions and histone marks. Importantly, four of the five established lung cancer risk loci in European ancestry are cis-meQTLs and, in aggregate, cis-meQTLs are enriched for lung cancer risk in a genome-wide analysis of 11,587 subjects. Thus, inherited genetic variation may affect lung carcinogenesis by regulating the human methylome.
Schizophrenia is an idiopathic mental disorder with a heritable component and a substantial public health impact. We conducted a multi-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) for schizophrenia beginning with a Swedish national sample (5,001 cases and 6,243 controls) followed by meta-analysis with previous schizophrenia GWAS (8,832 cases and 12,067 controls) and finally by replication of SNPs in 168 genomic regions in independent samples (7,413 cases, 19,762 controls and 581 parent-offspring trios). We identified 22 loci associated at genome-wide significance; 13 of these are new, and 1 was previously implicated in bipolar disorder. Examination of candidate genes at these loci suggests the involvement of neuronal calcium signaling. We estimate that 8,300 independent, mostly common SNPs (95% credible interval of 6,300-10,200 SNPs) contribute to risk for schizophrenia and that these collectively account for at least 32% of the variance in liability. Common genetic variation has an important role in the etiology of schizophrenia, and larger studies will allow more detailed understanding of this disorder.
Schizophrenia genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified common SNPs, rare copy number variants (CNVs) and a large polygenic contribution to illness risk, but biological mechanisms remain unclear. Bioinformatic analyses of significantly associated genetic variants point to a large role for regulatory variants. To identify gene expression abnormalities in schizophrenia, we generated whole-genome gene expression profiles using microarrays on lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from 413 cases and 446 controls. Regression analysis identified 95 transcripts differentially expressed by affection status at a genome-wide false discovery rate (FDR) of 0.05, while simultaneously controlling for confounding effects. These transcripts represented 89 genes with functions such as neurotransmission, gene regulation, cell cycle progression, differentiation, apoptosis, microRNA (miRNA) processing and immunity. This functional diversity is consistent with schizophrenias likely significant pathophysiological heterogeneity. The overall enrichment of immune-related genes among those differentially expressed by affection status is consistent with hypothesized immune contributions to schizophrenia risk. The observed differential expression of extended major histocompatibility complex (xMHC) region histones (HIST1H2BD, HIST1H2BC, HIST1H2BH, HIST1H2BG and HIST1H4K) converges with the genetic evidence from GWAS, which find the xMHC to be the most significant susceptibility locus. Among the differentially expressed immune-related genes, B3GNT2 is implicated in autoimmune disorders previously tied to schizophrenia risk (rheumatoid arthritis and Graves disease), and DICER1 is pivotal in miRNA processing potentially linking to miRNA alterations in schizophrenia (e.g. MIR137, the second strongest GWAS finding). Our analysis provides novel candidate genes for further study to assess their potential contribution to schizophrenia.
Several copy number variants (CNVs) have been implicated as susceptibility factors for schizophrenia (SZ). Some of these same CNVs also increase risk for autism spectrum disorders, suggesting an etiologic overlap between these conditions. Recently, de novo duplications of a region on chromosome 7q11.23 were associated with autism spectrum disorders. The reciprocal deletion of this region causes Williams-Beuren syndrome.
Most psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable. The degree to which genetic variation is unique to individual disorders or shared across disorders is unclear. To examine shared genetic etiology, we use genome-wide genotype data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) for cases and controls in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We apply univariate and bivariate methods for the estimation of genetic variation within and covariation between disorders. SNPs explained 17-29% of the variance in liability. The genetic correlation calculated using common SNPs was high between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (0.68 ± 0.04 s.e.), moderate between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (0.43 ± 0.06 s.e.), bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (0.47 ± 0.06 s.e.), and ADHD and major depressive disorder (0.32 ± 0.07 s.e.), low between schizophrenia and ASD (0.16 ± 0.06 s.e.) and non-significant for other pairs of disorders as well as between psychiatric disorders and the negative control of Crohns disease. This empirical evidence of shared genetic etiology for psychiatric disorders can inform nosology and encourages the investigation of common pathophysiologies for related disorders.
The extent to which RNA stability differs between individuals and its contribution to the interindividual expression variation remain unknown. We conducted a genome-wide analysis of RNA stability in seven human HapMap lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and analyzed the effect of DNA sequence variation on RNA half-life differences. Twenty-six percent of the expressed genes exhibited RNA half-life differences between LCLs at a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05, which accounted for ~ 37% of the gene expression differences between individuals. Nonsense polymorphisms were associated with reduced RNA half-lives. In genes presenting interindividual RNA half-life differences, higher coding GC3 contents (G and C percentages at the third-codon positions) were correlated with increased RNA half-life. Consistently, G and C alleles of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in protein coding sequences were associated with enhanced RNA stability. These results suggest widespread interindividual differences in RNA stability related to DNA sequence and composition variation.
To 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.
Obesity is globally prevalent and highly heritable, but its underlying genetic factors remain largely elusive. To identify genetic loci for obesity susceptibility, we examined associations between body mass index and ? 2.8 million SNPs in up to 123,865 individuals with targeted follow up of 42 SNPs in up to 125,931 additional individuals. We confirmed 14 known obesity susceptibility loci and identified 18 new loci associated with body mass index (P < 5 × 10??), one of which includes a copy number variant near GPRC5B. Some loci (at MC4R, POMC, SH2B1 and BDNF) map near key hypothalamic regulators of energy balance, and one of these loci is near GIPR, an incretin receptor. Furthermore, genes in other newly associated loci may provide new insights into human body weight regulation.
Most common human traits and diseases have a polygenic pattern of inheritance: DNA sequence variants at many genetic loci influence the phenotype. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified more than 600 variants associated with human traits, but these typically explain small fractions of phenotypic variation, raising questions about the use of further studies. Here, using 183,727 individuals, we show that hundreds of genetic variants, in at least 180 loci, influence adult height, a highly heritable and classic polygenic trait. The large number of loci reveals patterns with important implications for genetic studies of common human diseases and traits. First, the 180 loci are not random, but instead are enriched for genes that are connected in biological pathways (P = 0.016) and that underlie skeletal growth defects (P?0.001). Second, the likely causal gene is often located near the most strongly associated variant: in 13 of 21 loci containing a known skeletal growth gene, that gene was closest to the associated variant. Third, at least 19 loci have multiple independently associated variants, suggesting that allelic heterogeneity is a frequent feature of polygenic traits, that comprehensive explorations of already-discovered loci should discover additional variants and that an appreciable fraction of associated loci may have been identified. Fourth, associated variants are enriched for likely functional effects on genes, being over-represented among variants that alter amino-acid structure of proteins and expression levels of nearby genes. Our data explain approximately 10% of the phenotypic variation in height, and we estimate that unidentified common variants of similar effect sizes would increase this figure to approximately 16% of phenotypic variation (approximately 20% of heritable variation). Although additional approaches are needed to dissect the genetic architecture of polygenic human traits fully, our findings indicate that GWA studies can identify large numbers of loci that implicate biologically relevant genes and pathways.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is a common and severe psychiatric disorder with both environmental and genetic risk factors, and a high heritability. After over 20 years of molecular genetics research, new molecular strategies, primarily genome-wide association studies (GWAS), have generated major tangible progress. This new data provides evidence for: (1) a number of chromosomal regions with common polymorphisms showing genome-wide association with SZ (the major histocompatibility complex, MHC, region at 6p22-p21; 18q21.2; and 2q32.1). The associated alleles present small odds ratios (the odds of a risk variant being present in cases vs. controls) and suggest causative involvement of gene regulatory mechanisms in SZ. (2) Polygenic inheritance. (3) Involvement of rare (<1%) and large (>100kb) copy number variants (CNVs). (4) A genetic overlap of SZ with autism and with bipolar disorder (BP) challenging the classical clinical classifications. Most new SZ findings (chromosomal regions and genes) have generated new biological leads. These new findings, however, still need to be translated into a better understanding of the underlying biology and into causal mechanisms. Furthermore, a considerable amount of heritability still remains unexplained (missing heritability). Deep resequencing for rare variants and system biology approaches (e.g., integrating DNA sequence and functional data) are expected to further improve our understanding of the genetic architecture of SZ and its underlying biology.
Schizophrenia is a complex genetic disorder manifesting combined environmental and genetic causation. Recently, genome-wide association experiments yielded remarkable new experimental evidence that is leading to a better understanding of the genetic models and the biological risk factors involved in schizophrenia. These studies have discovered uncommon copy number variations (mainly deletions) and common single nucleotide polymorphisms with alleles associated with schizophrenia. The aggregate data provide support for polygenic inheritance and for genetic overlap of schizophrenia with autism and with bipolar disorder. It is anticipated that the application of a myriad of tools from systems biology, in combination with biological functional experiments, will lead to a delineation of biological pathways involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and eventually to new therapies.
Schizophrenia, a devastating psychiatric disorder, has a prevalence of 0.5-1%, with high heritability (80-85%) and complex transmission. Recent studies implicate rare, large, high-penetrance copy number variants in some cases, but the genes or biological mechanisms that underlie susceptibility are not known. Here we show that schizophrenia is significantly associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the extended major histocompatibility complex region on chromosome 6. We carried out a genome-wide association study of common SNPs in the Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia (MGS) case-control sample, and then a meta-analysis of data from the MGS, International Schizophrenia Consortium and SGENE data sets. No MGS finding achieved genome-wide statistical significance. In the meta-analysis of European-ancestry subjects (8,008 cases, 19,077 controls), significant association with schizophrenia was observed in a region of linkage disequilibrium on chromosome 6p22.1 (P = 9.54 x 10(-9)). This region includes a histone gene cluster and several immunity-related genes--possibly implicating aetiological mechanisms involving chromatin modification, transcriptional regulation, autoimmunity and/or infection. These results demonstrate that common schizophrenia susceptibility alleles can be detected. The characterization of these signals will suggest important directions for research on susceptibility mechanisms.
Narcolepsy with cataplexy, characterized by sleepiness and rapid onset into REM sleep, affects 1 in 2,000 individuals. Narcolepsy was first shown to be tightly associated with HLA-DR2 (ref. 3) and later sublocalized to DQB1*0602 (ref. 4). Following studies in dogs and mice, a 95% loss of hypocretin-producing cells in postmortem hypothalami from narcoleptic individuals was reported. Using genome-wide association (GWA) in Caucasians with replication in three ethnic groups, we found association between narcolepsy and polymorphisms in the TRA@ (T-cell receptor alpha) locus, with highest significance at rs1154155 (average allelic odds ratio 1.69, genotypic odds ratios 1.94 and 2.55, P < 10(-21), 1,830 cases, 2,164 controls). This is the first documented genetic involvement of the TRA@ locus, encoding the major receptor for HLA-peptide presentation, in any disease. It is still unclear how specific HLA alleles confer susceptibility to over 100 HLA-associated disorders; thus, narcolepsy will provide new insights on how HLA-TCR interactions contribute to organ-specific autoimmune targeting and may serve as a model for over 100 other HLA-associated disorders.
Multiple sources of evidence suggest that genetic factors influence variation in clinical features of schizophrenia. The authors present the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of dimensional symptom scores among individuals with schizophrenia.
The 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).
Recent meta-analyses of European ancestry subjects show strong evidence for association between smoking quantity and multiple genetic variants on chromosome 15q25. This meta-analysis extends the examination of association between distinct genes in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 region and smoking quantity to Asian and African American populations to confirm and refine specific reported associations. Association results for a dichotomized cigarettes smoked per day phenotype in 27 datasets (European ancestry (N = 14,786), Asian (N = 6,889), and African American (N = 10,912) for a total of 32,587 smokers) were meta-analyzed by population and results were compared across all three populations. We demonstrate association between smoking quantity and markers in the chromosome 15q25 region across all three populations, and narrow the region of association. Of the variants tested, only rs16969968 is associated with smoking (P < 0.01) in each of these three populations (odds ratio [OR] = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.25-1.42, P = 1.1 × 10(-17) in meta-analysis across all population samples). Additional variants displayed a consistent signal in both European ancestry and Asian datasets, but not in African Americans. The observed consistent association of rs16969968 with heavy smoking across multiple populations, combined with its known biological significance, suggests rs16969968 is most likely a functional variant that alters risk for heavy smoking. We interpret additional association results that differ across populations as providing evidence for additional functional variants, but we are unable to further localize the source of this association. Using the cross-population study paradigm provides valuable insights to narrow regions of interest and inform future biological experiments.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.